A few years ago a young man came to youth group. He was not my favorite teenager. In fact I really dreaded when he came to youth group. There was a chip on his shoulder a mile wide that ran head long into any adult who dare, oh I don't know, discipline him! But I'm a youth director, and God has called me to be a vessel of love, hope and understanding to the young people whom I meet in life and so I grudgingly accepted this young man in our program and "put up with him".
Fast forward a couple of years and that young man has changed. The chip on his shoulder isn't quite as wide. I don't run head long into it anymore, in fact I realized recently that I haven't run across that chip in a long time. I will see him on the school campus at lunch and he will approach me to say Hi. He smiles more than he frowns and a while back when the rest of the group was getting kind of loud and I was trying to get the attention of the group, he was the first one tell everyone to quiet down. Yep, things have changed.
I was sitting by another young man a few weeks ago. Another one whom God had placed in youth group that I really, really struggled with. He came to group for awhile, disappeared and has reappeared again. You know, the same thing has happened. He's changed, though the chip on his shoulder is pretty prominent still. I enjoyed spending time talking with him, listening to the unspoken words as well as those spoken.
There are days when I wonder what God is doing, what the future holds and how much longer I will be in Youth Ministry. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do there is just always this voice in the back of my head saying "You can't do this forever.". I'm not sure whose voice it is, God's, Satan's or mine, and until I figure it out I will continue to do what God has called me to do...be a vessel of love, hope and understanding to the young people whom I meet in life. It's not an easy road but it's the road that God has me walking.