I'm in pain...serious pain! My head and shoulders, knees and toes are screaming at me -"What have you done to us you ding dong!?!?!"
Last night was our yearly "all-nighter." We bounced in a trampoline world, climbed rock walls to touch a fox, bowled and ate pizza. At the same time, we set off the fire alarm at 3am (but every good youth activity needs a fog machine), ran from zombies, dodged balls, spiked balls and enjoyed Despicable Me 2! Oh, and because we had two youth groups together, we had over 100 teen (minus one to a busted ankle).
Someone asked, “Aren't you getting too old for this? You can't do this forever!" Today, my head and shoulders, knees and toes would absolutely agree! But still, I just can't stop smiling.
Teenagers laugh a lot. They laugh at you when you tell a dumb joke, they laugh with their friends walking to the bus, they laugh when they are tired, laugh when they gutter-ball, laugh as they groove to the techno or screemo music...they just like to laugh! And that makes me smile!
I used to think that for a youth pastor there was no greater joy then seeing a teen grow up to love and serve the Lord - (ya know when they hit their early 20's) but I was wrong. The greatest joy is seeing teens love and serve the Lord while they are still teens. They get it, even before they are old! They love God, love serving Him and show it by inviting a ton of friends to the youth group all-nighter. They serve God by vacuuming at 6:30am. They set everything up a day early and stay late to makes sure it is all cleaned up. They go with the flow even when the flow changes in mid-stream. They get compliments from the skyzone and rock gym managers who were surprised to have such a large group of teens be so awesomely awesome! And they do it all while laughing and having a great time. And that just makes me smile! I think it makes God smile too!
Teenagers aren't perfect. They set off fire alrms, spill sodas, yell at the line judge and have horomone issues.
But I still love being with teenagers. Especially teenagers that love the Lord and love to laugh! I wish that all grownups could laugh a lot more while we love God and serve Him -- ya-know, like teenagers do!
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