How to Pray by Coach K | July 3, 2020
Three Things This Week
1. Kanye’s Big Week
What it is: Producer, rapper, and fashion-designer-turned-Christian Kanye West seems to have his hands on all things pop culture these days, with a new net worth over $1.3 billion.
Why it’s a mixed bag: Just this week, West dropped “Wash Us in the Blood” with Travis Scott, inked an apparel deal with the Gap, and teased a new children’s cartoon with Kid Cudi. West is an enigmatic icon despite the breadth of his talent and his relentless desire to create, innovate, and make a name for himself. But where do you draw the line between entrepreneurial genius and megalomania, between admirable old-school hustle and shameless self-promotion? West once called himself, “The greatest artist that God has ever created.” We admire Kanye’s pursuit of excellence, but as Christian parents, help your kids realize the path to true greatness is actually counterintuitive. It’s not about becoming more, but choosing less. As Jesus reminds all of us, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.”
2. Hamilton Comes Home
What it is: After conquering Broadway, Hamilton hits the small screen on July 3.
Why it’s perfect timing: The film production of the critically acclaimed theatrical hit is being released on Disney+, complete with the original cast starring Lin-Manuel Miranda. This screen version will give viewers who could never see the show on Broadway their first glimpse of this riveting historical tale. If your teens struggle to appreciate history because it has been taught as an endless procession of dry dates and boring facts, watch Hamilton this weekend to be reminded that history is in fact a story filled with unique individuals whose personal flaws and heroics have shaped the nation we are today. And as you watch, notice how the writers turned boring conversations about politics into engaging, personal plot lines centered on a compelling story. As you start conversations with your kids about everything from sexuality, history, and politics, how can you do likewise? Learn to incorporate the art of telling a great story as you train up your children in the way they should go.
3. Kids, Race, and Unity
What it is: Alicia Keys hosted a star-studded cast of future leaders and influencers on Nickelodeon to help the next generation break the cycle of racial injustice.
Why it’s worth watching: Talking with younger children about race is difficult, especially if they are young and innocent enough not to even notice racial issues. But it is never too early to create safe spaces to discuss racism. If your children are wondering why people are marching, why our Black brothers and sisters are so angry, and what to do about it all, watch the special on YouTube. Children often feel like they are too young to make a difference, or simply don’t know where to start in helping to tackle such a huge problem. This special will help them with the practical steps they can take to end injustice in their sphere of influence.
How do I talk to my teens about racism? What does the Bible say about racism? In what ways do the roots of U.S. history still affect us today? How should we address this complex issue as Christians? Our brand new Parent’s Guide to Racism in the US will help you begin to navigate these questions with your teens.
Coach K’s Prayer
One of the hallmarks of spiritual maturity is humility and understanding that the more we know, the more we truly do not know. As we grow in wisdom and stature before God, we realize the way we see things may not be the way others see them. Our world is not the world. What we experience isn’t what other people experience. If you’ve never dealt with systemic racism, police injustice, or bigotry, it’s often hard to accept that these issues are a lived reality for so many of our fellow citizens. Unfortunately, our privilege often blinds us to others’ suffering.
As author Kevin Patterson writes, “The thing that makes systemic oppression so difficult to discuss is that when you do, you have to acknowledge your role in it. Often this means having to admit that you’re part of the problem. It’s not a comfortable experience when you learn that you further or benefit from the oppression of others.” That’s why, now more than ever, it is time to listen, to learn, and to respond with sincere humility to the problem plaguing our nation.
One such example came this past week when Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski released a powerful message in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. As the most prominent person at prestigious Duke University, as well as the most recognized coach in college basketball, when Coach K speaks, people listen. In the video he humbly admits, “Over the last couple months, I have had the opportunity to see more, to listen more, to think more, and to understand at a deeper level.” The question is, have we?
If you are still struggling to see systemic racism and social injustice, watch this impassioned plea by Coach K as he asks our nation to pray this simple prayer: “Lord, help me choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.” Amen.
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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