Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Boys will be Boys

Boys will be boys.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether they grew up in the frosty northern country of Canada or the heat of Nicaragua.  Skin colour, race, and social status will never be able to change that – boys will always be boys.  In the rural community that I live in, here in Leon, Nicaragua there are several ten to thirteen year old boys who live near our house.  Obviously, their cultural upbringing was significantly different than mine but we are all boys!

Let me run down my memories lane to when I was twelve or thirteen years old.  I remember how my brothers and I would fill our spare time with climbing the apple trees in search of apples, sling shot hunting, biking, and any other kind of sport that would entertain us and fill our spare time.

My neighbour friends really aren’t much different.      

Nearly every day, often several times a day, one or all of them show up at our front door.  One morning next door neighbour, thirteen year old, David came over while I was cleaning my daily gathering of chicken eggs.  After several moments of pensive silence he asked me if I was sad.  “No”, I replied, I wasn’t sad, so I returned the question to him.  His answer was different; he told me very honestly, he was sad because he didn’t have any games or anything to do at home.  Boredom, another thing that at some point is also in common to all growing up boys!  So I pulled out a game called Tailgate Toss (a.k.a. Corn Hole) and told him to practice while I finished up my work.  We played several games, and, of course the other neighbour boys came over to join the fun.  They must have enjoyed it, because that evening after school they came back over to play again, and the next day one of the boys asked to borrow it! 

We’ve done lots of other things – iguana hunting or target practice with sling shots, wood burning, card games, sports (mostly soccer!), and climbing the mamon tree in search of its sweet fruit.  Switch the iguanas for black birds, the soccer for hockey and the mamons for apples and my activities really weren’t much different when I was their age!  You see, boys will be boys; we all really are quite alike.

Usually after we are done playing a game everyone is thirsty.  Since we have a refrigerator and most of them don’t, I get the pleasure of giving each of them a “cup of cold water”.  There have been many times that I have thought about that verse from Matthew 10.  

I enjoy spending time with these boys; they are a lot of fun.  Plus, it’s good practice for my Spanish.  But I hope that the time I spend with them will be more than just entertainment and Spanish practice.  In the next several years these boys will need to face some serious decisions, things that their culture might tell them is ok to do but that God’s Word tells them is sin.  I hope that my time with these boys will help to grow our friendship. I hope I will have the pleasure to not only teach them new games but also to teach them about God and the Christian life.  I hope that they will feel God’s love through me and that someday they too will decide to give their lives to Christ.  Yes, boys will be boys, but I hope and pray that I can teach them how to be more than just an average boy, but a Christian boy.