Faith in Focus

This is the time of year when the boys are deep into school, hopefully, the mornings are brisk, the leaves have changed colors and we begin to plan our Son Village staff retreat.

As I write this I'm actually wearing a shirt that we had specially made for one of our earliest retreats several years ago. I won't soon forget that retreat because it was the one in which a certain staff member snuck into my bedroom while I was asleep and turned up my thermostat to, like, 95 degrees! This staff member will remain nameless only because I haven't figured out who did it (though I have several suspects).

Anyway, I want to tell you about this shirt. On the front it has our fancy Youth Guidance Association logo with the "YGA" and the little birds flying off (you'd have to see it to fully appreciate what I'm describing but trust me, it's really something). On the back in bold letters it reads: "We get to do this!"

I may need to explain the significance of these words. Son Village is a residential treatment program in the Sandy area that works with 15, let's say creative, spontaneous and energetic young men. In our line of work, it's easy to get discouraged and emotionally spent. If we're not careful we can lose sight of the big picture. This shirt provides encouragement we need to stay the course.

Instead of coming to work and feeling like "We have to do this?" or worse, "Why do we have to do this?" from time to time we need to step back from our jobs and appreciate what we are privileged to do. We are truly in the business of changing young lives and sometimes these changes can take on eternal significance, even affecting future generations.

Wow, that is an amazing thought, but that's not it. The shirt also includes a scripture verse, which has incredible ramifications when combined with the realization of what we get to do. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.' Now stop and imagine the creator of the universe having this work in mind before he even began to form each of us. What a privilege! Who needs a retreat? I'm getting warm already!

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