Cory Was In Trouble Again
Years ago when I met Cory, he was a middle school student who was what I’d describe as “rough around the edges.” He had been sent to the principal’s office because he had gotten in trouble again. In fact, he has a history of getting in trouble that goes back to his elementary school days. When we were introduced to one another by the principal, it was obvious early on that this was a “lost kid.” Because of his track record that compelled me to pursue him.
After weeks of only talking in his school’s cafeteria, we began hanging out after school. Although his behavior had greatly improved after we started regularly hanging out, I was aware that seeing his life completely turn around was going to take so much more than just hanging out with Campus Life guys. He needed Jesus and getting him to understand that was going to be an uphill battle. Eventually, we invited Cory to one of our summer camps and God did an amazing thing there. Cory indicated that he desired to begin a relationship with Jesus. Upon returning home, we immediately started following up with him to help him grow in his new relationship with Jesus. Mission complete, right? Not exactly! Cory came back home to the same environment he was in before he went to camp. Unfortunately, as a result, he went back to making some bad choices. A few of those choices even landed him in the detention center. I went through the proper channels to be able to see him there as well. Now that Cory has been released, we’ve been hanging out again. Just the other day we were leaving the grocery store headed back to his home and he started asking me a series of questions.
“What was running through your mind when you found out I was at the detention center? Why did you come see me there? Weren’t you upset with me?” I was glad he initiated the conversation. I wasn’t sure how to get the conversation started. “I wasn’t shocked” I replied. “Remember? I probably wouldn’t even know you if it hadn’t been for you getting in trouble.” He answered, “Yes sir! I remember. You have to admit it though. I started doing better for a minute didn’t I?” I told him that I recognized his efforts to do better, but I wasn’t upset with him. I was disappointed. I was disappointed because he didn’t call me when he felt tempted to make a crazy decision. I was disappointed because, in order to get in that kind of trouble, he had to abandon everything he had been learning through Campus Life. Then he asked, “If you were so disappointed, why did you visit me at the center?” With a smile on my face, I said, “real friends don’t just abandon you when you mess up. If God says He’ll never leave us and no matter how many times I’ve messed up, He has never left me, why would I leave you over a dumb decision?” While getting out of my car to go home, he said, “I’m going to get my act together. I promise!” Although it doesn’t look like it right now, I’m confident that Cory will be a lifelong follower of Jesus because Jesus will never stop pursuing Cory.
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