I wrote this post Sunday night, but I’m finally able to post it up.
Whirlwind. That’s the way I would describe my weekend. I just spent my entire weekend with my church youth group and now I’m writing this as I’m on a plane to Nashville for the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. I must say that I love flying at night. I love seeing the tiny city lights and right now the sun is setting and the view out the window is just breathtaking. It’s like a sea of clouds and just on one side of the plane I can see the horizon and the beautiful orange, pink, and blue hues of the sun. Then on the other side of the plane, there’s the moon–a single light in the midst of clouds. It reminds me of just how small my corner or the world and my life is compared to the greatness of the Earth and all God created. All I can say is, “WOW.”
This past weekend was another example of God’s greatness and glory. Our youth group participated in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine from 12 noon on Friday until 6 p.m. on Saturday. The entire week leading up to the famine I’ve been stressed more than usual. There have been so many events and activities going on and I’ve just been overwhelmed with planning it all. I felt so unprepared going in to the famine this year compared with last year. It was almost like the event just snuck up on me.
Of course, the 30 Hour Famine is more than just an event. It’s our way of helping see people the way God sees them and to share God’s love with those in need around the world by raising money to help feed children for which hunger is not a choice. Despite my feelings of unpreparedness and everything that seemed to go wrong Friday night (our projector didn’t work, one youth counselor lost her voice during worship for the remainder of the weekend, we were way behind schedule, etc.), God was working in the midst of it all.
We had some meaningful conversations with some of the teens, built fellowship with one another, had great insights during our Bible studies, and were encouraged by the testimonies shared at the end of the famine. One girl said the famine helped “reconnect her with God,” which brought tears to my eyes. Just knowing that young lives were being transformed through our time together this weekend makes it all worth it. No amount of planning or preparedness can change what God is already doing in hearts.
So even though I’m completely exhausted physically (only running on about 11.5 hours of sleep for the entire weekend), my spirit is refreshed. This weekend God made it so everything else I had to do was on hold and all I did was focus my attention toward him and toward the teens he loves. I love our teens and I’m already looking forward to spending more time with them and investing more deeply in their lives. I can’t wait to see what God will continue to do in our group and at the upcoming Youth Conference in April. As I drove home from the famine last night at 8 p.m., I thought, “Youth ministry sure takes a lot of time.” There’s no doubt in my mind, though, that it was time well-spent.