Friday, October 8, 2004

Life and Ministry

I know all youth pastors have stories about students who are struggling with life, love, acceptance, and faith. They seem to multiply as you build community and see spiritual growth in the ministry. At times I think, "It may be better not knowing the reality of an individual story or issue in the life of a teen ager." It hurts to see them struggle. One has lost a mother to cancer, another lost a father to an affair. A "new" problem of Cutting or self mutilation has joined anorexia and bolemia. Poverty, over indulgence, soccer, track, school and relationships all seem to complicate life and distract from ABUNDANCE in Christ. I guess the difficult part is seperating the hurt for my students from the abundance God has for me. In abundance, I mean LIFE, PEACE, JOY, EXCITEMENT in who God is and what He has done. Not materially, but spiritually. All of this has nothing to do with circumstance. It is contentment with Christ in need and want. I know the answers, but I've been preaching that KNOWLEGE is not the end. Wisdom is better, a combination of knowlege, understanding and experience. I KNOW all of these issues are being used by God to teach and lead me into dependance. I am greatful for the knowlege, but the experience hurts the most. It affects my family, my cynicism and my desire to withdraw into the unknowing bliss of thinking all is right with the world. Throw into the mix the truth of church politics, parents thinking its your job to get their kids saved and excited about church, bills, integrity, unhappy leaders, demon possessed middle schoolers and WAY TOO HIGH gas prices. Whew, I am distracted!!! Lord, You show me in the midst of ALL this, you don't only give peace, You are PEACE. Be Peace in me. I can handle and endure all things, be all things, desire all things in YOU.

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