Sunday, March 29, 2009

Into the Game

I’ll admit I don’t usually watch basketball much, but I’m getting into at least keeping tabs on the NCAA championship playoffs. Friday night, hanging out with about a half dozen teens (mostly girls), ended up including a fun mix of game watching and conversation. All our eyes were on the game as we downed brownies and mint chip ice cream, then a couple of us started talking about books we were reading.

One, a 17-year-old, had a finger holding her place in Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, For Women Only. Someone had just recently given that book to me as a gift, so I asked her what she thought. We were having a great discussion about the differences between men and women when someone across the room joined the conversation and shared about a similar book she had read. She slid onto the floor where we were and showed us another book she had: Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell.

They had books with them? Guess they didn’t expect to get that into the game. Or maybe they just liked reading. Anyway, I thought it was great.

Soon we began to discuss questions of theology and faith. One, an 18-year-old, said a friend and mentor who had given her the book she had with her hoped it would challenge her thinking about God. I asked how that was going. She was making her way through it, but she was frustrated with some of the perspectives of the writer.

I thought, Frustration can be good. In most cases it means we’re thinking and grappling with the ideas—whether in the end we agree or not.

The next hour we’d watch an amazing play in the game, be genuinely impressed (if it was made by the team we were cheering for), and then we’d turn back to our discussion. The girls talked about the different ways people seem to be interpreting Scripture and living out their faith, the ideas of church and community. They had great comments and insightful questions. Clearly they wouldn’t easily accept anything they heard or read. They were pretty adamant about making sure God stayed powerful, real, and holy.

Great night. The team we were cheering for won. I went home cheering for the girls.

author of the Live Free series, Standard Publishing

true stories, true hope

for teens, young adults,
and those who care about them.

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