Not really in that order I suppose.
I sat across the table from a very good friend and mentor not so long ago over some delicious hot beverages and we talked about where my life is going. and what it might look like, and a little about what it ought to look like. He asked me to become part of the youth ministry team here and I agreed and then a few days later I played one of the best games of capture the flag ever, made some new friends and started recognizing what may be a new calling on my life.
I connected with the kids in a way I never really have before and it's got me thinking, "I want to be in some kind of youth ministry."
I'm not sure yet if that means packing up in a year or 3 and going somewhere to become an official pastor or if it means staying right here and getting a teaching degree to become a high school teacher (probably English/Language Arts) but I feel this pulling whenever I think about it, like there's something inside me going "yes! THAT's the direction we should go, this way! this way!" and it makes me excited.
My oldest brother is a youth pastor and I've always loved going with him to events and watching him interact with the kids. He has a gift for connecting with them in a way that few youth pastors I've been around could do, and I've always looked up to him and in the back of my mind I've always thought that maybe that's what I wanted to do too. I know that if I take that road he would be happy and willing to share his experience with me and I believe he would be an invaluable resource along the whole way, and I'm excited to know what he'll think when he finds out God is calling me to a similar path.
I've prayed about it, talked to my wife about it, talked to my pastor about it and now I've written about it and the whole time I feel stronger and stronger affirmation in my soul and mind that "yes" is the answer. God wants me to be part of sharing His word to the next generation of this world, a tremendous responsibility and a tremendous gift. I write this all here to get out of my own head but also to encourage any who read this to think about what their life looks like and where they feel God is calling them. Your path is in front of you and you have but to choose it over another, and if you can't see it very clearly, that's ok. I can't see very far down mine and truthfully no one else can see very far down their roads either and if they say otherwise they're either on a much nicer path than the rest of us or they are fooling themselves. The thing to remember is that whether or not you can see the way that lies ahead, God knows your path from beginning to end and even what comes after.
Sometimes it's frustrating that He decides not to share such information with we who are trying to follow these often strange and unknown roads, but I believe He does so, so that we won't miss out on anything.
I can go on all day about how delicious a certain food is, but until you've tasted it for yourself you would never understand. Or I could put you on a path that I know will take you on unexpected turns, but if I tell you the end location, would you really think it necessary to go around all these bends and hills and sometimes even loop back around in order to get there, or would you just try to plow straight through? Let's be honest, we're human and we have a tendency to try to just shove the connection from A to Z in place forgetting all the other letters, if you see what I mean.
We would try to push straight through, and in doing so we would probably miss out on a great deal of things that would have prepared us for what we must face when we reach the end of our path.
I leave with this thought,
"To those whom much is given, much is expected."