I remember a conversation I heard in the lobby (of one of our churches) as if it had happened this morning.
Ken and a group of men from our church led the service at a rescue mission each month. Ken began taking Max, one of the teens from our church along with him to play the guitar. Max did a great job and Ken gave him a lot of encouragement, knowing that Max’s own father was rather ambivalent about what he was doing.
One Sunday after church I was standing nearby when I heard the mother of one of Max’s friends approach him. (This lady was a core person in the church.)
“Hey Max,” she began, “we have tickets for the college basketball game on Friday night. My brother was supposed to go, but cancelled. Andrew (her son) thought you would like to go.”
“I can’t,” Max said. “I’m going with Pastor Ken to play at the mission.”
“No problem,” the mom continued. “He can do without you one week.”
“No,” Max persisted. “I told him I’d be there and I’ll be there. I like doing this.”
“Look,” the lady was getting angry. “The mission team will understand. You can miss one week.”
“No, I can’t.” Max said. “I really can’t. I need to be there. I promised.”
As I listened to this, I cheered for Max, but I wanted to scream at the mom. Here was a kid who was totally committed to serving the Lord in a unique way. He had an obligation and he desired to follow through on his commitment. Yet, this lady was doing everything in her power to make him make a bad choice.
What was she saying to him?
Why was she trying so hard to get him to go back on a promise he obviously wanted to keep?
I have no idea.
I’m happy to say that Max did not back down to her.