David Pressgrove: Heartwarming letters from camp
November 13, 2009
When somebody asks me, "So what do you do?" I typically explain that my job, in a nutshell, is to hang out with teenagers.
That usually doesn't help clear up the question. The asker might not tell me, but I can see that in their head they're thinking, "That's a job?"
My job description is vague and that's probably because no day is ever the same. I'm the combination of a youth minister, bus driver, marketing director, counselor, fundraiser, manager, pastor and graphic designer.
And that's probably just this week.
Jesus and his disciples didn't exactly fit any job description, either. I wonder if Peter ever got the question, "So what is it that you do?"
If he was being honest in the moment, he probably answered: "Well, one day, that guy over there told me to follow him, and I was a little tired of fishing so I did. Pretty much what I do now is follow him."
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My guess is that he probably received some, "that's a job?" responses as well.
All that there is to say is that this weekend, I came home with a handful of letters describing what my job is and reminding me what gets me out of bed every day excited to go to work.
On Friday, I hopped on a bus with 28 youth and six adults from Hayden and Craig, and went down to Buena Vista, to Frontier Ranch.
As one leader described it, "we ran around all weekend like crazy people and in the midst heard about Jesus."
After every camp, we have our adolescent friends write a letter to the supporters of Young Life about their week or weekend. Those words are heartwarming and make me smile.
Here are a few excerpts from this weekend:
"At this camp I realized I'm good enough for God. Before this camp I thought that I was too sinful too dirty and didn't deserve Him. Our speaker made it clear that there is no tricky way to be with God, just accept his gift and go home with him."
"This weekend was one of the greatest of my life. My relationship with God has definitely changed for the better, thank you for supporting Young Life to make this possible."
"One of the things I learned was a new way to look at the way God loves us. The fact that when he died for us he even died for the people that tortured and killed Him."
Hebrews 11:8 reads, "He went out, not knowing where he was going."
That pretty much describes my experience in ministry. I have a to-do list and a long-term goal, but the path to finishing that list or reaching that goal is never straight and narrow.
For me, the magic of that verse is that the only thing I can trust every day is that God knows what he's doing, and every once in a while, I get a glimpse of God's plan for me through things like letters, high fives and even some insecurity.