Friday, March 05, 2004

greatest in the kingdom

Well, this afternoon I am headed down to college station to do a retreat. I have done this same retreat for the last two years. It is with little sixth grade boys. We talk about growing up, adolescence and puberty. A doctor comes in for one of the sessions and talks about what happens biologically to boys when they go through puberty. Its hilarious because they ask the funniest and most innocent questions about their own anatomy. We also discuss the female anatomy, of which they know nothing about.

Regardless of all the seminary education I have been through, I still love hanging out with these kids for a weekend. I have done college retreats and youth retreats. And they are fun too. I can discuss deeper issues of the faith with the older crowd. And yet, with these guys, its so simple. Ministry is so simple. Play with them, laugh with them, love them. That's it. I don't have to have all the answers. I don't even have to have profound questions. I simply have to share with them how much God loves them and then show them this truth through my own love for them.

This retreat has been a great reminder for me every year. I am reminded that the better I am at loving people, the better I am at ministry. I am reminded that laughter is healing and that playing has its own rewards. I am reminded that what I take for granted (puberty, simple questions about girls, and common scripture passages) was once new, exciting, dangerous and confusing. It reminds me of what I was like 12 years ago and it gives me hope for how I might grow in the next 12 years.

Father, I thank you for kids. I thank you for how they see the world and how they see life. I pray that I will learn from them this weekend as they learn from you.


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