That night, when I was doing youth work in a sincerely good, but fairly conservative, church in Southern California, I got in trouble with the deacons.......again. That happened regularly.
It was the kind of church, back then, that had both AM and PM church services on Sunday, something on Wednesday, extra happenings, whenever. But...that night the whole youth group was in another part of the building. I was not going to let them miss this!
One of the men in the church owned a television store. So he brought in several TVs, we put them around the social hall, brought a spread of food in for the kids, and watched history being made.
So the story goes, those deacons on more than one occassion wondered just where I was taking their kids. However, a few of those deacons had kids in the group, including the lead pastor. Those men took the heat for me, often, when some of the others wanted to fire me, which was also often. :-)
Those "kids" are now all 50+, some even into their 60s. They are significant men and women, making amazing differences in our world, around the globe. Could not be more proud of them!
Some times one has to decide to take the heat and be a bit of a rebel, as long as it is not hurting or wounding others. I wanted those amazing teens to experience life in such a way that they would commit to not just being "ho hum" church goers, but willing to make a radical difference...a life-changing difference in our world. They, too, could/would be history-makers.
It was well worth the heat taken on that night when we gathered, not for the youth group meeting, but to watch history happen. We all became a visual part of history that night.
Two phrases changed our lives forever:
"The Eagle has landed.......!" Whoa! On the moon, no less!!!
"One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind."
Fortunately, I am still a bit of a rebel in my older age. By choice.
I'm grateful be healthy and creative enough in all 8 dimensions of my life to be one. We are not created to live complacent lives. We are each created to be fully alive no matter our ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, education, financial status, skills, etc.
Moses, of old, said it best at the end of a particularly famous 40 year journey. "Choose life.......!"
At 72+, I will spend the rest of my days challenging all kinds and all ages of men and women to do just that. Choose be as fully alive as one can be...........!!!
There's still enough honest, creative rebel in me to help make the jouney interesting and life-expanding for all those with whom I've the immense and sacred privilege to mentor and encourage them to accomplish more than they every dreamed possible. Watch out world!
I'm hanging out with some of the finest men and women to ever walk the planet. They will be changing the world...moon, by moon, by moon!