So let’s talk Breaking dawn by Stephanie Meyer….
Yes, yes I watched it. Was it anything like the book? Well it seldom is, but that’s not the point! I enjoyed the experience because my wife simply loves it. Yes, I might have serious issues with vampires that sparkle, or werewolves that is overly emotional, and girls who do not know who they want! I mean is it possible to love two people at the same time? Probably hey?
I remember watching “Phenomenon” starring John Travolta who said that he read Lady Chatterley’s Lover twice because he wanted to understand the mind of a woman. Watching this series was something like that. As much as I think Edward and Jacob are wimps the romance that is offered by them is real. The willingness to fight for a woman’s love is challenging. And their allegiance to those they love is admirable. Yes there are many bad things we can say about the movie, but those are things that I gleaned from it.
I hope that I may always be able to sweep my Mia-Cara’s feet from under her and make her look at me the way they do in the film. I hope that I will always fight for her and never stop fighting for her even when it seems like there is no hope. And I hope that I will always be loyal to the people I love and be there for them.
So, that has been my experience with the movie. I’m not sure what yours have been…
The 11th day of the 11th month of the year 2011… 11/11/11
So what’s so profound about that? Well nothing really except that this date will never come around again.
My wife, Mia-Cara pointed out just now that we have been privileged to experience so many things in this lifetime that we often take for granted and simply just miss it.
We have just been part of naming the new 7 wonders of the world. We voted for that.
The first soccer world cup to be hosted by South Africa in 2010. The 1994 elections. Nelson Mandela. Y2K. Steve Jobs. Mother Theresa. John Stott. Microsoft. Facebook. Twitter. Smart phones. The internet. And the list goes on.
Sure there are many things we should be concerned about too. Global warning. HIV/Aids. World violence. World recession. And this list goes on too.
What’s my point?
You only live once and before you wipe out your eyes, it has passed.
Live life today. Enjoy the beauty it brings with it. Appreciate the struggles that mould us.
Cry some more.
One month later, just remembering the power and impact of an idea…
So I’ve been reading up a bit about youth culture in a book called “Engaging the Teenage Soul” by Walt Mueller and he makes a statement that says if the church is not willing to listen to the questions our young people are asking then they will go to people and places where they will be listened to. Often where they go comes as a surprise to the church. To make matters worse when we do answer them, often the answers we respond with, which we believe are biblical and evangelical, and are well-intentioned, many times misses the mark. Why? Because we have cookie-cut answers, a one-size-fits-all response to questions being asked and often these answers are not even applicable to the questions being asked. The questions being asked are changing, as a matter of fact it has already changed, so how can we have answers for questions that we don’t know are being asked?
What I often wonder is, “what is more important? Is creating a platform, a space, for them to ask questions more important than the answers themselves?” Is by allowing them to ask questions enough to show that they are taken seriously?
Is Christianity not revelation? A process, sometimes even immediate, where Jesus Christ reveals himself to us through the written word, the spoken word and creation, through a life-long process where we work out our salvation in relation to this revelation of God. Should youth ministry not be more than just wanting to give our young people answers, answers we think they should know but a journey, a life-long one of learning and experience the God who was always actively involved in the lives of his people?
I am not purporting that we base our understanding of God merely on experiential knowledge but I think often times this learning experienced is removed and only factual and head knowledge is sought after by those who seem to posses the answers.
So how do we engage young people with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
- Create a platform, a place, that is free of judgement so that they would have the liberty to ask questions and to speak their hearts and minds;
- Listen to their questions without wanting to give them the answers which we believe are the correct ones, instead allow God to speak into their lives;
- Walk with them through this enigma called life and allow them to experience what God has done in your life in theirs.
I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity in speaking at various churches over the past few weeks yet each time I prepare the sermon, deliver the sermon and reflect upon the sermon, I realise how inadequate I am and have been in the process. Though it is part and parcel of what I do, I can only acknowledge that the divine is actively involved in this process. God has promised that His word will never return to him empty but will always accomplish the desire and purpose for which he has sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
When I prepare I have in mind the outcome that I would like to see or what I believe God has in store but many times at the conclusion of the sermon I discover that it has not even come close to what I thought it would be. I am amazed that while God chooses to use us, he has his own agenda and his own outcomes and many times what I desire falls tremendously short of his.
In that is a tremendous blessing and guarantee, the blessing and guarantee that says, trust God and allow him to do just what he chooses to do and the outcome will always be amazing. It will be an outcome that is beyond what we can ask for or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Look at the life of Moses (Exodus 3) when God confronts him at the burning bush and he tells God that he stutters and is not cut out for the job. Yes, while God gave him Aaron, we see what God has done through and with Moses, only because he availed himself to God. So when the task seems insurmountable, do not fret, the impossible is possible.
So what is my point?
- Trust God when he asks you to be available for him even when we feel we do not have what it takes, ultimately he will grant you success.
- God’s plans are bigger than ours and not even in our wildest imagination do we have clue of what he has in store for us.
- Enjoy the ride – God is in control.