Time Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
I’m not big on patience. I’m from New Jersey (in the New York metro area), and things move quickly here… except during rush hour. Traffic is the bane of my existence. Sometimes I feel like I need a little confession booth in my car during rush hour… it’s not always good.
I also get mad at the microwave because two minutes feels like too long to wait for a Hot Pocket. And I love Netflix’s instant downloads because it takes way too long to drive all the way down the street to pick up a video rental (and forget walking!).
I’m trying to work on patience. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it does not.
I’ve been reading through the story of Old Testmanet Joseph with my kids lately. Every night, we’ve been doing a different section of the story. This read-through, I was really intrigued by what happened when Joseph interpreted dreams while in prison. He helped the cup bearer and said “please don’t forget about me.” The cup bearer forgot him. Eventually he remembered, and it was only a chapter later. No big deal, except that next chapter comes two years later. We often forget that.
Joseph waits a week. Hears nothing. Waits two weeks. Nothing. And it goes on for two years!
There’s a great number of Youth Pastors who aren’t even in a church position for two years (I don’t know what the real stats are, but we know there’s a lot of youth workers who do fall into this camp). Sometimes there’s issues that drive us away and that we legitimately need to leave. Sometimes, we just need to be patient and we don’t like that. There are temporary rough patches, things we need to learn, and changes that take time.
In the midst of things, two years feels like forever. In the grand scheme, it’s not nearly as long.
In ministry, please be patient. I know we want to rush, and I know there’s days you just feel like giving up. Read through Joseph’s story again. God is with us, and God is faithful.
Posted on December 20, 2011