Long time, no speak but I’m back. Fear not.
I left off discussing how I (somewhat unintentionally) came about using my platform as a professional lacrosse player to create a ministry of sorts.
I finally decided to look up the words ministry and minister. Initially, all I saw was definitions that reflected what I already believed to be true. They all had something to do with religion. As I looked further, however, I found one definition of minister that was interesting to me. As a noun, it can be defined as a person who acts as the agent or servant of a person or thing. Or, a person who attends to the needs of others. As a verb, it can mean to attend to the needs (of); or to take care (of). And when defined in these terms, I decided that I had, in fact, begun to establish a ministry. But what were the needs that I was taking care of? Who or what was I serving via this ministry?
As I see it, there’s nothing too deep about it. I do think there are certain principals by which I aim to live my life each day, and I’ve found that in doing so others often find it uplifting and motivating. Through my Words of Wisdom email, Facebook, Twitter, playing lacrosse, running camps/clinics, coaching, and other endeavors, I get to touch the lives of numerous people each and every day. Not everyone gets that opportunity, so I feel obligated to make the most of it, and I find that in being upbeat, setting a positive example, and showing that our attitudes have as much to do with both our happiness and our success as anything else, is a way of addressing a need. It always humbles me when I read emails and messages from young players that explain how motivated they are, not by what I do on the field, but how I present myself off of the field. It’s even more humbling when I receive similar sentiments from parents and coaches, some of which I look up to.
I think my Grandmother (who happens to be a minister) provides a great ministry, simply in the way that she lives her life. And the amount of people that look to her for guidance, not just spiritually, but in everyday situations because they respect who she is, always amazes me. She is able to look beyond the present circumstance to help others move beyond their own present circumstance. And in some ways, I feel that I am able (mostly by privilege) to do the same.
The “who” of my ministry is easy to figure out. It’s whoever wants to listen. It’s the 120 plus people on my Words of Wisdom list serve. It’s the nearly 5k friends on Facebook. It’s the 2600 followers on Twitter. It’s the fans the lacrosse fans that I get to interact with after games. It’s the kids I get to work with in Miami – youth, middle, high school.
The “what,” I believe, is actually just a matter of me being me. That’s my ministry. See, whether we ask for it or not, and whether we know it or not, God has a way of taking us and working through us to serve the needs of others. When I sit down to send out the Words of Wisdom emails, I rarely have an idea of what I’m going to send. Sometimes I get direction from an issue that I’m dealing with, or that a friend may be dealing with. A lot of times, I go into it completely blindly, and just pray that the right words will come to me. And it’s REALLY amazing how often I get responses to the emails. In fact, I often get more “Thanks! I needed to see/hear/read that today!” type responses on the days where I struggle the most to figure out what I’m going to send. That’s God speaking through me. There are also days when people drop me notes, to say that I’ve inspired them to do this, that, or the third, and what I love about it is that, as much as I love motivating people. It’s rarely from me speaking to them. The motivation comes from however they’ve interpreted what I’ve done or said in some unrelated capacity, not from me trying to motivate them. That’s a blessing, and as I mentioned before, a privilege.
Back to you all later with a new topic!