Finding Something That Was Lost

Do you know the feeling you get when you put on a pair of pants and find $20 in the pocket? Or when something that you thought was lost forever turns up? Today is that day for me.

Today is the day of a new 4:13 Strong class. It is the first day of Mental Toughness Week (our tryout process). And like usual, we have many new faces showing up for the first time. These faces are anxious and a little unsure about what 4:13 Strong is all about. In fact, I am pretty sure most of the faces I saw this morning wanted to be anywhere but at 4:13 Strong one hour into the workout.

But one face was different from all of the rest. Rather than looking anxious, this face was all smiles. There was a look of joy and relief on this face. This happy face belongs to Monty, a young man who has been through all of this before. Monty was part of the class that started in January. He had completed all of the classroom requirements of the 40-Day Challenge and was ready to begin interviewing for his job. He even had a couple of employers asking for him by name. The path to his future was right there in front of him, laid out all nice and neat.

But Monty screwed up. He completed all of the classroom work. He earned his certifications, he built his budget, and he was ready to begin working. But something happened and he gave up on himself. Right at the point when we were all believing in him, he didn’t believe in himself. He failed our final drug test and we had to ask him to leave the program. It was a hard thing for us to do, but we couldn’t let him continue.

Within 48 hours of his dismissal, Monty was back in touch with us. The reality of his decision was sinking in. He was beginning to realize the opportunity that he had lost. His classmates were all beginning to work, and he was back in the same spot he was in before ever coming to 4:13 Strong. We offered Monty the opportunity to try again with the next class, and sure enough, he showed up this morning.

I can’t even begin to describe how good it felt to see Monty back. He gave me a big hug and said it felt good to be back where he belongs. He felt a huge sense of relief coming back to the 4:13 Strong campus, much like “coming back home after a long time away.”

I have high hopes for Monty. Now that he has a new appreciation for the opportunities that 4:13 Strong has to offer, I think he will become a great role model for the rest of the class. He will be able to offer encouragement and perspective to those who are struggling and will be able to speak with an authoritative voice. In fact, God may use his voice to encourage a classmate who is thinking about giving up and quitting the program. It could be Monty’s voice that saves a young man from falling back into the grips of the streets. It could be Monty’s voice that saves the life of a young man, or has a positive impact a man’s family that will be felt for generations.

Please join me in thanking God for how He works and praying for Monty and this new group of men competing for a spot in the next 4:13 Strong class.

Steve Norris, President of 4:13 Strong