Time Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
by Adam Wormann
When I was in middle school, I was in my Metallica/Black Sabbath phase and really wanted long hair. My mother always threatened that she would cut it off in the middle of the night if I tried, so it really never happened. When I started going to church in high school, and I heard that there was a guy who got his strength from his hair, I was pretty much hooked. That was the Bible guy for me.
Many years later, I’m teaching the same story of Samson to my kids from Judges 16. It looks a lot different to me now. Though I understood the basic story long ago, the story of faithfulness hits me harder and harder every time. It was never really the hair that did it (contrary to what my friend Chris says, who is also convinced that his hair gives him strength). The hair was simply an outward expression of an inward commitment. What was the problem? Giving up the “secret” was basically giving up on the promise to God. Delilah had tried several times to trap him. He had to know there was a good chance it would come again. He basically gave up the sign of his commitment. He gave in to nagging (among other things). The promise meant less to him. That is why God left him, he had given up his commitment.
Youth workers are usually very committed (really, it’s not the high pay and praise that keep people in ministry). Here’s one of the things that happens though – we get a little sloppy. Though we’re committed to ministry, our commitment to Christ starts to take a back seat. We confuse our ministry with our spiritual life. Quite frankly, this was something very difficult for me.
It’s not that I didn’t love Jesus or turn to sin. I just would be lax about things. That’s one of the big things that got Samson in trouble. When we’re not paying attention, our guard goes down. This is one of the most opportune times for the enemy, and something we just can’t allow to happen. I’m not going to get into the theological implications of “can God leave us,” but I will say that when we aren’t keeping our guard spiritually and making God our first priority, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Take some time to just evaluate your spiritual life. How’s it going? If you’re totally blunt with yourself, are you doing well? What may you have to put in place to safeguard yourself?
Take every caution you can not to pull a “Samson.” Make your relationship with God primary. That is where your strength comes from.
Posted on April 23, 2012