While monitoring elementary lunch this week, I witnessed two third graders in an all-out Rock, Paper, Scissors showdown. Five times they flashed the same choice, each time with more animation at the prospect of losing. Finally, as one student wrapped his paper hand over the rock hand of his opponent, the rock flashing student bent over from the weight of his loss. The winning student patted him on the back and said, "you HAVE TO do it." They both approached me, the winning student again pushing his friend to follow through on their bet. With a big smile, the student who lost said, "Mr. Max, can we eat lunch with you in your office?" The winning student cheered his partners completion of the dreaded task! "Of course," I replied, and pointed out that they didn't have to be afraid to ask and that the honor of asking should have fallen on the winner!
For the next 37 minutes, these two young men ate lunch with me in my office: sharing each other’s food, offering me leftovers, discussing their class, and exposing me to their favorite songs (to which they sang along and danced). At one point, one of the students said, "Mr. Max, this is the song you should play for Mrs. Max on your anniversary" and he had me play a song from the TV show, Teen Titans Go!, entitled, “The Night Begins to Shine” (no, I do not know the reference and I was thankful the lyrics were fairly PG).
As I watched these two young men, listened to their innocent banter, took in their anniversary advice, and enjoyed their playfulness, I felt good about our future. Both have had caring teachers at Cornerstone who have loved them and encouraged them towards lives of virtue and Godly character. We have partnered with their parents who are working hard to raise these young men to stand against the negative culture that is nipping at so many in our communities. At Cornerstone, we have built an environment that fosters positive friendships and love that we pray will last a lifetime and an eternity. May these two young men grow up to be awesome husbands, fathers, and leaders, who share Christ with their families and communities. Lord, let it be so.