Sunday I had the privilege of teaching the tweens’ Sunday school class. The class is mostly boys–there is one lone girl in this age group–and it is amazing to me how eager they are to engage with the lessons. Granted, there are some tricks. For starters, you need to keep them talking and continually direct the conversation. What’s amazing to me is that they take the questions I ask seriously and give thoughtful and sometimes surprising answers. They do not yet realize that they are taking risks by answering with such honesty. What a lesson for the rest of us!
We did a prayer exercise on appreciation and then expressed that to the Lord. As I walked the boys through the exercise–asking them to identify an experience where they felt close to God, to think about tangible things about the experience and to express thanks to God for it–they did it! It was clear that there were different levels of engagement with the exercise in the room, but the boys who were really into it didn’t let the fact that others weren’t stop them from participating. At the end, I asked for volunteers to share about their experience. I had four immediate volunteers. I was even able to ask if they noticed a difference in how they felt from when they started the exercise to when they finished. One young man replied, “Yeah, I feel more ready to worship God now.”
There’s an old saying about Faith–you can’t keep it unless you give it away. There have been many times in my life when I’ve felt that to be true–when praying for others, just listening to someone, crying with a brokenhearted friend–but it is rare that I feel that as intensely as I did with that group of young men on Sunday. Their responsiveness to the Lord is breathing life into my own faith. Given my recent struggles, that is a beautiful gift. Thank you, Lord!
Lord, thank you for these young men and lady. May your life burst forth in each one of them in increasing abundance. For those not yet in bloom, may your seeds still be planted in rich soil, waiting for their own time to burst forth. Thank you for what this small effort has netted me; a new appreciation of your presence. Amen.