Just Show Up!

by Charlotte Long, Youth Ministry Coordinator

This past Monday, we had our first real Youth Group meeting; or at least, my first one with your children. Not only do I continue to be surprised by the depth and complexity of their thinking, but I am continually delighted by their willingness to "show up", without knowing what exactly comes next.

I am reminded of the Keynote Speaker at my graduation from University of Chicago Laboratory High School. Of course, I don't remember who he was; he was a famous economics guy who taught at U of C and had written some books, but that's all I've got. And he was hilarious. Towards the end he said, "You're not going to remember any of this. Nothing I say is going to stick. And that's as it should be; you're going to do far more important and thrilling things in life than graduate from High School, and those are the things you should remember with fervor. But if you don't remember anything else I've said, just remember this: just show up. When you have the difficult choice between staying in bed, and just showing up to whatever it is, chose to show up. You have no idea what you might potentially be missing out on by not showing up. So just do it." And he was right. That's the only part I remember from his whole speech. And I think about it all the time.

Your kids make my job easy and enjoyable when they show up. It's a way of saying, I trust you. And it's also a way of trusting God. On my own, I am not equipped to give your children what they most need, or to receive gifts from them in my turn. But with God driving the proverbial mission trip van, we are enough for small miracles to occur in Kenilworth, IL, sitting around with teens in the Great Hall, eating subway sandwiches. Not to mention we've started to laugh a lot together. And I'm so thankful for that.

The mission trip to Joplin, Missouri, is just over a month away. To the High Schoolers who are coming with: look out for announcements of meetings in the next month when we can all get together and prepare further for what's ahead of us. Also, I may be teaching you songs on the ukulele while we sit on the rug. It'll be like preschool, except you're all taller than me.

IF YOU ARE A TEEN INTERESTED IN GOING ON THE MISSION TRIP TO JOPLIN, MO THIS COMING JUNE, email me at cbllong@holycomforter.org for information. Time is running out!

Peace! Charlotte