TSOJ & Middle School Lacrosse

May 6, 2016

Dear Friends, 


This spring I have been volunteering as a clinician, running a series of lacrosse clinics for middle school boys at a local prep school.  It’s a first step in their desire to begin a middle school lacrosse team.  I had hoped for 8-10 kids and ended up with 25-30.  (I wish).  Um, actually, there are precisely 3 kids who show up, 2 of which have never played lacrosse before, while the third has considerable experience.  I refer to them as the

‘3 amigos!'  They are a pleasure to work with.


#1 is a thoughtful, polite young man who is just beginning to discover that he is physically tougher than he previously thought. (First practice:  'Coach, um, my chin strap is making my chin sweat.')   #2 is very athletic (an 8th grader who shot a 72 in golf this past weekend!?).  He is quiet and polite.  He works hard and loves fully-body contact.  ('Coach, are we gonna do a face-off tourney today?')  He is picking things up very quickly.   #3 plays on a well respected travel team.  Like the others, he is extremely polite.  He’s well dressed and impeccably groomed.  Rather than look down on the new players, he loves to help teach.  ('Coach, I know you want us to shoot over head, but did you know that shooting side arm rather than overhead can create greater speed, due to the length of the moment arm and the torque generated from one's core?')  [Ed note: I’m not making this stuff up.]


They have three things in common.  They are remarkably bright, unusually polite and captivated by the 'Story of Joe.'  (*Aka TSOJ).  TSOJ is a retelling of Joseph's life, as found in Genesis, placing it in a contemporary setting so as to help capture the imagination of the kids.  


TSOJ is told in chapter form and, without exception, the players ask at the beginning of each clinic, 'Coach, are ya gonna tell us the next chapter about Joe today?'  Today's chapter concluded with Joe in jail after being falsely accused by the president's wife for assault.   


There is something about the power of story.  Narratives stir post moderns in a way that never ceases to amaze me.  What's funny is that the players know it's about the life of Joseph.  What seems to especially intrigue them, however, is imagining what Joseph’s dilemmas and deliverances might look like in their world.


We pray at the beginning and end of our clinics and I'd ask you to pray for each of these three young men who, I hope, are at least beginning to understand that faith is a adventurous verb and not an inanimate noun.


As always, thank you for making it all possible!

His peace,


Greg Porter




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