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What Do You Want?

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In the movie, “October Sky,” we see the true story of Homer Hickam, a West Virginia high school student who faced an important decision. 

Homer was part of a small group of friends. They weren’t jocks or rich kids, but they knew what it meant when you associated with the wrong kid, especially John, that red-haired, pimply-faced nerd that no one ever sat with at lunch. 

One day, Homer learned that weird John knew a lot about rockets. More than anything else, Homer Hickam wanted to learn rocketry, and now he was faced with a dilemma – would he follow his interest and publicly talk to John? Or would he do what all the others expected, and avoid John like a plague?

The scene is the lunchroom with Homer as he walks over to see John at another table. His friends are saying, “No, no, don’t do it – don’t talk to him — no one will ever talk to you again!” But Homer went anyway. 

“What do you want?” asked John. “I hear you know about rockets,” said Homer. “Well, what you do want to know about them?” And thus began a friendship that would result in the Rocket Boys, a gang of four adventuresome guys who brought brief glory to the sleepy town of Coalwood, and the start of a distinguished career in aeronautics for Homer Hickam.

This incident begs a question – what if Homer had followed his friends’ advice and avoided John? What if Homer never had the courage to speak to this brilliant boy, this boy the others called a “loser”? What would Homer – and the world – have lost if he had followed the social order and stayed within his own circle of friends?

I can hear each of the Apostles as they walk up to Jesus and they say,  “I hear you know a lot about God.” And Jesus says, “What do you want to know?”  What would the world have lost if the Apostles had decided to just listen to their friends?

Thanks to Bob Tasler and to Brett Blair for sharing this story.  Thanks to Pixabay for the picture.

Think of a time when YOU listened to YOUR friends and did NOT do something? Think of a time when YOU did NOT listen to YOUR friends, YOU DID something, and that made all the difference in the world!


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