This last weekend is, hopefully, a weekend to remember. I certainly never want to go through it again, so I'm trying to learn from it this time around. :)
Friday night I headed out to the church campout. No traffic, set up my tent, and got ready to have fun. Stayed up too late reading Friday night (and rereading at that.) Woke up because I was cold Saturday morning.
Saturday, I tried going to the beach, but it was windy. So windy that it was whipping the sand around and it was actually stinging my leg when it hit. Not my idea of fun. We were there for a couple hours, but I was more then ready to go by that point.
Got back and I headed down to the pool for a little while. Played, and got creamed at ping pong. Swam. Relaxing. But I was rather tired and needed some down/alone time. So I headed back to my tent to take a shower then finish my book. That's when the trouble started.
I was digging in my tent for stuff and looked over my shoulder. That's when what was missing hit me. My car was gone. After a few moments of panic, I spotted it across the field. With shaving cream on all the windows. Things like "Ha Ha." Even "We love you!" I wasn't exactly happy, especially since my keys had been down by the pool, but decided to shrug it off. Until I saw the inside. They'd taken a box of Kleenex I keep in there and scattered it all around the car, even the box. Taken a CD out of the case and scattered the case around the back seat. Then I got back to my tent and realized they'd also taken my sleeping back, book, and guitar. That was when I totally flipped.
To completely understand, you need to know that I've been having my doubts about why I'm in youth ministry again. Of the "Am I really making a difference?" kind of thing. Knowing that some adult had to have helped them just made me feel like an idiot. I tend to not think well when I want to have a pity party. I was so upset I took my shower and packed up and left even though I couldn't get a refund for Saturday night.
By the time I got home (two hours later) I was beginning to feel a little foolish. Especially when I tried to explain all this to my roommates. What had really been harmed? The only answer is I can't find my book with my favorite bookmark in it. Other then that, nothing. But I still felt violated and betrayed. Rightly or wrongly, that's what I felt. Got some sleep and went to church completely prepared to tell Jon I was quitting or at least taking a break.
The first doubt in my mind was when the speaker started talking about finding your ministry and sticking with it. As if that wasn't enough, God had to completely interrupt me. While I was waiting to talk to Jon, Dave came up to me and started talking. He'd been there for a few hours, while all this stuff was going on. We actually had a very long talk, moving to his office. We ranged over many topics, and that's where the revelations really started to happen.
I thought I was doing better with trusting God, but I see now that I've been taking way too many things on my shoulders and not giving any of them to God. Frankly, this isn't surprising since my devotional time is mainly non-existent. But all the things I worry about, like keeping roommates and making sure they're happy so they stay. And trying to make the kids like me. Dave again told me he feels I have a great ministry with the kids even if I'm not the one they choose to hang out with like the other guys on staff.
Then last night, I talked to the adult involved. By then I was already feeling foolish for overreacting, which went a long way toward working things out in our relationship. He shared some stuff with me that really makes me feel foolish. Like one of the kids involved who's been trying to get a gift together for me for a while all on his own. Frankly, I'm feeling about the size of an ant right now. Not that that's a bad place to be.
Then this morning, one of the fathers who's a co-worker stopped by to make sure I was ok.
Needless to say, I know feel very loved. I wish I didn't have the thin skin I do, but at times like this it sure makes me feel loved. And every so often, it's nice to know that.
So, far from quitting working with the youth, I feel right now would be the absolute worst time to even think about doing that. The kids who did this are quit upset that they hurt me. I need to make sure they see there are no hard feelings.
So what am I going to do about it all? Stay away from stuff that upsets me for a while. Make my relationship with God the priority it hasn't been for quite some time. And pray hard and lots. I need to get back to being me and letting God worry about the rest, like my roommates (which He proved He can handle just fine last month) and my perceived popularity with the kids.
Is this going to be an easy change? Nothing worth changing ever is. But it's something I need to do.
So, as you can see, my weekend didn't go the way I had planned at all. But if it leads to some permanent positive changes in my life, I won't be complaining at all.