Monday, January 05, 2004

A caterpillar is nothing like a butterfly but one develops from the other.

I sat in a circle of ymca hostel residents. We talked about the potential in a caterpillar and shared our collective wisdom...........

An acorn is the soul of an oak tree.
An acorn has the potential to become an oak tree.
So we talked about the things which can stop that acorn developing into its full potential.
Crushed by a boot, no moisture, damaged in the fall, landing on concrete, poor environment, uprooted or eaten in early life .....and more.

And then the application to ourselves, the human soul and the potential to become a fully alive human person. What can hinder that development ....." the glory of God is a person fully alive"
Everyone in that group, including me, shared the reality of their own 'damage' during the development process in life. The emotions ran high as we shared and took ownership of real hurt and also the equipping for life that this sometimes gave.

The purpose of the ymca is not to provide:-
fitness classes
child care
sporting opportunities ..........and more.
All these we do, and are leaders in the field, but these are the means to achieving our Aims and Purposes, and to provide developmental opportunities for all. Those acorns into oak trees, those caterpillars into butterfly's. We are about whole person development. That is what makes the ymca distinctive. That is what we mean by putting Christian principles into practice.

"An empty belly has no ears" quote an African Proverb.
So many people who dip their needy toes into a ymca are at the bottom of the social pile. They are NOT to be oppressed. They are NOT to be preached at, .....those empty bellies are there to be filled and ears to receive valuing comments, affirmation blessings, authentic love,....... the environment needs to be right to facilitate the acorn and the human person to grow. A part of that journey is the experience of 'belonging', a sense of 'security', the experience of 'self esteem', cognitive and aesthetic needs. All these, according to Maslow and his famous hierarchical model, culminate in actualization. That is what we aim for, the height of spiritual/ wholistic/fully human person state. A model crisp and clear to Bible fans everywhere " And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." (Luke 2:52)

So the ymca aims for the highest, and as all us leaders know to well, it is the great journey and destination we ourselves desire to achieve.
Martin Luther King did NOT say
"I have a budget"
Martin Luther King did say
"I have a dream"
I have a vision!
I have a mission! ............. and we in the ymca are about that mission.