God blessed the Gold Lions bus with 35 riders last Sunday, September 12th.  The previous Sunday, we had 34.  These are some interesting days in the Gold Lions bus as some of our kids have dropped off the face of the earth, and thus, we cannot pick them up.  Now that our crew has been fortified again, we hope to be able to invite some new kids.

What’s that you say? Our crew has been fortified? YES! We gained a new recruit to our bus in the course of the last two weeks. He’s actually Sarah’s brother, Steve (or Stev-0).  So, yeah, you know I’m excited.  I feel like an old man sometimes because I can’t seem to do all the running on my own, which is crazy, because I’m only 23 years old.

Something that I failed to mention previously is that Jennifer’s father passed away a few weeks ago.  She’s currently in the Philippines for his funeral.  Be sure to be in prayer for her.

I had an interesting problem happen to me in the last two weeks.  I am very happy that our bus kids are interesting in helping out.  During the summer, some of the little girls were helping with pouring cups of water to battle the blazing Texas heat.  Recently, they have wanted to help me knock on the doors on the Sunday ride.  I love this.  This is what I want for them, to get involved in the bus ministry!  I decided to reward them with some chocolate.

And I never imagined how problematic that would turn out to be.

I have mentioned Tammy Friddle in the past.  She is a tremendous help in our bus by providing keeping things in order in that back of the bus.  She also has a certain amount of influence over half of our bus.  So much so, that sometimes she gets a little carried away with the authority that we’ve given her. And I’m not complaining or anything like that. Here’s what happened: I promised one bus girl from her neighborhood to give her some candy for helping out on the bus.  Tammy overruled me by saying she wasn’t going to get any candy, because that’s not what volunteering is about.  Since I already made the promise and intended to keep it, I gave her the candy anyway.

The next week, Tammy was upset because I gave the girl the candy. Why? Because I went against her authority. I didn’t know this at the time, but she has become responsible for all of the kids from her neighborhood.  She knows everyone there. She’s involved in their lives. And they all look up to her. The little girl began to brag about the candy, and apparently all the kids began to cry about how unfair it was. So Tammy had to buy them all something to keep them happy. And she basically resented that. Nothing bad came of it.  I just gotta be more careful how I reward the kids.

But what I find disconcerting is the reasoning behind this. Tammy, she says, was raised to believe that every kid should get something and that no one should receive any special treatment.  And I agree to a certain extent, but I personally believe in rewarding good work.  The little girl helped.  The others didn’t.  It seems unreasonable to me to give them a prize for doing absolutely nothing.  And yet they did.  Not by my hand, mind you, but nevertheless they did.  And my problem with this situation is the lesson being taught: if someone gets a prize for helping, you are entitled to the same prize, regardless of whether you helped or not.  And that is not the kind of lesson I want them to learn.

I understand her point of view: the kids should be helping not for reward, but for the Lord.  But even the Lord rewards those that do His work.  And besides, these are kids.  Most of the time, they don’t have spiritual things on their mind (same could for said for some adults), and they need some sort of incentive to get involved before we can expect them to do them for spiritual purposes.

Just something to think about. What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments on the section below and share with others.

~My Two Cents