had to admit, these were his favorite kind of youth group nights: less
talk, more games. Even though the Bible time would be short, Matt knew
Pastor Pete would somehow tie a Bible lesson into the games.
“Hey, Josh,” Matt said as he greeted his friend at church.
The guys all congregated together to talk before the activities of the
“What do you think Pastor Pete is up to tonight?” Aaron said looking
There were obstacles all over the gym. There were chairs, a kids’ wading
pool that was filled with water, tires, a baby crib, a stroller, a
wheelbarrow, a huge teddy bear at the other end of the gym, and all sorts
of other odd things.
Matt shook his head. “I have no idea what he’s going to make us do
tonight!” After seeing a pool full of water and a baby stroller, Matt was
not real positive he wanted to participate. He could imagine a relay where
teams took turns pushing each other in the stroller. “There’s no way I’m
riding in that thing!” he said as he pointed to it.
“Me, either.” All of the boys agreed.
“All right, guys.” Pastor Pete tried to get everyone’s attention. Once they
were all quiet he gave directions for the first game. “We are going to
split up into groups of two. One of you is going to be the blind man and
the other is going to be the guide.”
Quickly, the boys separated into teams of two, with each person’s job
Matt and Josh made up one of the teams.
“Now,” Pastor Pete continued with his directions. “The blind man has to
wear this blindfold while the guide has to do just that; guide. Guides, you
need to give your teammates directions on how to navigate through all the
obstacles that are going to be in his way. You need to get him all the way
down to the other end of the gym to that huge teddy bear.
“The guide has to stay up at this end of the gym. So, when your partner
gets farther away it might be harder to hear you.”
Matt raised his hand. “Does everyone else have to be quiet?”
Pastor Pete shrugged his shoulders. “They don’t have to be perfectly
silent. Part of your job is going to be to guide your teammate through all
Josh and Matt were the first team to go. It was not bad at the beginning.
Everyone was fairly quiet and Matt was able to give Josh good directions.
Farther down the gym, the obstacles were more numerous and closer together.
It was also a little more difficult to see how far Josh was away from each
obstacle. The more things Josh tripped over the louder the other boys
laughed. If it had been someone else’s teammate, Matt would have thought it
was funny, too. But right now, it was frustrating.
The other boys were getting louder and shouting commands to Josh, however,
they were shouting the wrong directions so he would purposely trip. They
made Josh trip over the stroller and almost fall into the pool.
Fortunately, when he tripped, Josh was able to catch himself so that only
his hand went into the water.
Matt looked to Pastor Pete. He was just standing there smiling with his
arms crossed in front of him.
“Can you tell them to be quiet?” Matt was a little upset.
“Just do your best.”
“How can I with everyone making so much noise?”
Finally, shouting at the top of his lungs, Matt was able to safely lead
Josh to the stuffed bear at the other end of the gym. It was exhausting.
“Before the next team goes, I want everyone to sit down and listen for a
minute,” Pastor Pete said.
Matt thought to himself. He’s going to let them have it for being so rude!”
“Come here, Matt,” Pastor Pete said.
Matt went to stand beside him, fully ready to accept all of their
“That was hard wasn’t it?” Pastor Pete asked him.
“It wasn’t so bad at the first when he was closer to me and everyone was
“Do you know what this game represents?”
Matt shook his head. Maybe there were no reprimands for the group coming
from Pastor Pete.
Pastor Pete looked at all the boys. “This represents our walk with God. The
closer we are to God, the better we can hear His voice and respond to His
commands. But the farther away from God we get, the harder it is to hear
Him. The things of the world will block our path and try to trip us up into
sin. Maybe we want to hear what God is saying to us, but are having
trouble. Were you trying to hear Matt speaking to you, Josh?”
“Yeah, but a lot of times there was way too much noise and I couldn’t hear
him at all,” Josh reported.
Pastor Pete looked all of the boys in the eyes as he said, “That’s they way
it is with us, too. Without God’s directions we are walking blind. Maybe we
want to hear what God wants from us. Maybe we want to hear what He wants us
to do with our lives.”
Looking to Josh again, he asked, “How were you able to hear Matt’s voice
through all the noise?”
“I had to concentrate really hard and listen just for him.”
“We can all do that. We all have to do that sometimes. Maybe we need to
listen a little harder, or pray a little longer, or read the Bible a little
more. Those things will draw us closer to God and we will once again be
able to clearly hear His voice.”
Everyone was silent for a moment. Then Pastor Pete got back to his usual
Grabbing the blindfold from Josh and waving it in the air, he shouted,
“Which team wants to go next?”
All of the boys stood up and shouted. Although there was a spiritual
application the game looked fun and each team wanted to take a turn at it.
Matt stood off to the side. He enjoyed watching other teams try to navigate
the obstacle course. He laughed hysterically when Aaron completely fell
into the pool. Yes, the game was fun, but it taught him a life lesson that
he would never forget.