I found this in my “drafts” folder. I never quite finished it but tonight, over a year after I wrote it, I stumbled upon it and wanted to share it in case anyone needed this encouragement. We get so caught up in tending to the wrong things that the eternally important ones get overlooked.
This is about my role as a youth pastor, but I think it applies to so many other roles. Parents, spouses, co-workers, neighbors. It might not be an office but it might be a messy car or house or room or desk. It might be emotional clutter or past mistakes. God wants us to surrender our messy, because that’s when the most stuff is out in the open. He wants our piles of honest junk and dirty laundry more than he wants for us to shove it in drawers or under the bed and to pretend like everything is okay.
God just wants us.
and he wants to use us.
Mess and all.
From September 05, 2013:
and I look at my office and I see one word: FAILURE.
Somehow I’ve started believing this lie that until I get my office – and my life, really – all together, I am never going to see fruit from my labor. Like somehow the piles of construction paper are suffocating little seedlings and there are thousands of children in north Portland just WAITING for me to find places for like 15 binders before they can come to church and receive the love of Christ.
During Vacation Bible School, my office sometimes never got unlocked. When it was unlocked it was usually for people to put things in it. For safekeeping, for storage, for permanent living, for composting…
and I looked at my failure room and thought, “what a terrible thing I have done to this ministry.”
I’m not kidding you. I thought that.
But after VBS I was handed this card from sweet Miriam:
I’ve been doing a lot of youth ministry research lately and I’ve felt overwhelmed with volunteer training suggestions, super fun youth group games, records, redoing the youth room, starting up programs in a few weeks… and I keep going back to Miriam’s words. “Thanks for your love.”
All of these things are just laying paths for love to easily flow down from caring adults to children. If it takes an orange and teal youth room or a stupid game that creates memories and laughs, then so be it. But I cannot forget that a path never travelled will become overgrown and useless.