Saguaro Cactus Boot Camp of Character
It's good to see ya! I'm Bob Kuebler from Youth With A Purpose and the man behind the camera who's the brains behind making this video is Alex Stroke. Thanks Alex for caring enough to help make this video, your actions reveal the character of your heart. This video is being made as part of the Worldwide Young Men of Character Conference in Buffalo, NY. We're here to share with you some life changing information about leadership and mentoring.
If you missed the Conference you can watch the video here: http://youtu.be/5p4QJc2bm3g
Responsibility is Intentional
What You Do Is A Witness To Who You Are - The way you walk, the words you speak and how you treat people reveals the contents of your heart.
Whether you like it or not, you are a mentor. In fact, everyone is a mentor. The same goes for leadership; everyone is a leader, although sometimes a good leader knows how to be a follower. Mentoring and leadership can both be described as voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary mentors take the lead in helping someone build solid moral character based on self-discipline that leads to good decision-making. Involuntary mentors influence people who imitate their actions without being told to do so. If a high school student throws trash on the ground or bullies another student, other students may follow their lead. The influence on the behavior of other students may be unintentional and involuntary, HOWEVER - YOU ARE STILL RESPONSIBLE! If someone follows in your footsteps and does what they saw you do, you are just as guilty as they are, for the crime they committed..
What If You Were A Cactus?
Let's pretend that you're a Saguaro Cactus. This is a Saguaro Cactus. The Saguaro Cactus is the largest cactus in the world and lives in the desert, the Sonora Desert to be exact. The Sonora Desert covers most of Arizona along with parts of Mexico and California. Right now, I'm standing in Arizona. The Saguaro is covered with needles that help diffuse heat from the hot desert sun that reaches temperatures as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Native Americans used to use the needles as sewing needles. Some folks are very hard to get close to, it's like they have needles.
Before we plug into the Cactus as a metaphor regarding your character and mentoring, let me give you a brief overview of the characteristics of the Saguaro Cactus. This beautiful cactus only grows about one inch per year. They can grow up to sixty feet tall and live up to 200 years. There was one cactus that lived to be approximately 300 years old and was nicknamed "Grandpa." The cactus can grow many arms or remain as a "spear." They will grow flowers in the spring that may produce seeds. The flowers have to be pollinated before the seeds can reproduce more cacti. Woodpeckers will peck a hole in the Saguaro and excavate a deep cavity as it takes the flesh right out of the cactus. The Saguaro then secretes a resinous sap called lignin. The wound in the cactus becomes calloused and hardens into a smooth, waterproof boot. The process takes about a year to complete and the bird returns to raise a young family. That's enough information about the Saguaro for now; let's move into your character and leadership as it relates to the Saguaro.
Brokenness and the Saguaro Boot
You need to recognize the wounds of other people and yourself. You need to recognize that struggle and brokenness is a natural part of life. Butterflies struggle out of their cocoon, diamonds are made from stress and pressure, a pearl is made from an irritant, a muscle must tear before it becomes stronger, the farmer must break the ground before he can plant and the Saguaro must have death in its flesh before a woodpecker can nest and bring forth new life.
The cactus will swell with water when it rains - conserving it and using it slowly because the rain may not come again for a while. The Holy Spirit wants to indwell inside you. He wants to heal your wounds.
A. W. Tozer once wrote, "It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply." God has a mission for your life and mine. But before we can carry out that mission, we will often go through the boot camp of adversity. If this is where you find yourself today, ask God to give you His grace to walk through this time with you. He promised He would never leave or forsake us.
Thank you for sharing your time with us today. The notes for the Saguaro Boot Camp can be found on our website at youthwithapurpose.org. Leave us a message or your questions and we will be happy to do some more sharing with you. If you're at the Conference in Buffalo, NY, my good friend Kobe Lewis will take over at this point. Kobe is a rock star who has a heart as big as a Buffalo Blizzard. He has some things to share with you and will answer any questions you may have. Take it away Kobe,
Jesus loves you and so do we!