Monday, September 10, 2007

Why We Have Tutoring

Our Glenwood Tutoring Program kicks off its 6th year today, with over 30 kids signed up and over 40 volunteers at the ready. This is something I shared last night at our volunteer orientation meeting.

Why do we do we have this tutoring program?

First off, you and I are not hear to save these kids. I was meeting with a friend and talking about" saving the Glenwood kids", and he said, “Marshall, what if God sent you to these kids so that they could save you?”

And they have. From selfishness and pride, from impatience and a hard heart, from stereotypes and racism. These kids have shown me love and Christ, and have been used in powerful ways in my life.

Tutoring is an opportunity to give and to receive.

There is a principle in science called the principle of equilibrium. It says that If a chemical system at equilibrium experiences a change in concentration, temperature, or total pressure; the equilibrium will shift in order to minimize that change. The principle is used by chemists in order to manipulate the outcomes of reversible reactions, often to increase the yield of reactions.

A practical example is that when you exercise, your body generates a high concentration of heat and energy inside. It wants equilibrium, so you sweat, releasing that heat and cooling the body until its temperature returns to 98.6 degrees.

There is a spiritual application to this as well. God has given people high concentrations of some things, that they might flow into areas of lower concentration, an opportunity to give.

I believe that our volunteers have been given a high concentration of love, of opportunity, and of education, and that our kids often have a low concentration of those things. This is an opportunity for you to bring balance, equilibrium, justice. Our kids have a high concentration of energy, potential, and smarts, and we need to channel those things so that they flow into positive, productive places, like college, like learning to volunteer and love others, like into their families.

Equilibrium also presents an opportunity to receive. Our kids also have a high concentration of struggles, from families who are poor to parents who struggle with addiction, to peer pressure that encourages them to settle for less. As you love them and spend time with them, those sufferings will flow to you, and as you receive that, God will develop in you compassion, love, patience, and humility.

Our kids have a high concentration of love to give, but there are few safe outlets for them to give it. Your presence in their lives, the trust that you build allows them to take a chance to love you, to trust you, and to let you be their friend. That is a gift, to receive their friendship and love.

Lastly, we do this because we believe that this principle of equilibrium was modeled for us by Jesus Christ. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

God looked at each person in the world, saw us in our place of need and poverty without Him, and He came to earth as man, giving up all the glory and power that was His in heaven, lived a perfect life, died an innocent death, and was raised so that we might know God and have true life. God did not hoard His love, but gave it away freely to us. And so this program was begun as a response to that love which was given to us first.


emily said...

enjoyed this post, marsh.

Alex said...

good stuff, bro! hope things kicked off well...and that you had a happy birthday!