I can’t believe it. Tomorrow evening we begin our drive to Maine. Time flies much too quickly, and the past six months of discernment for us has not proven to be any different. Before we knew it, summer had arrived – and with it, our big move up to Maine.
I know it took me quite some time to allow God to soften my heart to the idea of moving back. Don’t get me wrong – Maine is a gorgeous place, and I can think of SO MANY PEOPLE we connected with in 2014-2015 who are amazing, life-changing, life-long relationships. But being so far away from home was hard. Being ‘alone’ with 10 feet of snow outside your front door and a sedan (Read: No AWD vehicle) in the driveway was hard. Feeling as if you weren’t being spiritually fed was really hard. And so, even though we knew we probably shouldn’t have, we left.
There were just so many easy ways to justify our move back to Georgia…and it didn’t take long before we were able to justify it for our own hearts.
Turning around and choosing to follow God’s plan was a pride-buster. God had His plan for us in that too! It isn’t easy to admit you were wrong and do a complete 180° turn with your life, changing all of your plans and returning to a place you ran away from.
People (who aren’t in ministry) always ask me, “Is youth ministry all you’re going to do? Isn’t that more of a part-time thing? Is that really the reason you’re moving back up?”
And the answer is that youth ministry – ministry of any sort – is more of a full-time job than any 40-hour per week career on the planet. Youth ministry is LIVING your life for Christ, as a role model for teenagers with keen eyes and ears and their finger on the tip of every social media site you could possibly ever be a part of. Youth ministry is waking up with your coffee in the morning to read scripture and study the Bible for hours. Youth ministry is always having your phone on so that anyone in your youth group can call or text at any time of the day or night. Youth ministry is planning a calendar full of events, studies, snacks, and trips a year in advance, to mesh with every possible school system. It’s praying constantly for yourself and others. It’s being a counselor and an encourager and a rule-reminder. It’s draining. No more leaving work ‘at work’. It’s all the time. The pay is awful (Read: Zilch). The health benefits are non-existent – there’s no overtime either.
But it’s the most wonderfully fulfilling “job” I can fathom.
Following the Lord is the most incredible journey…It’s literally beyond anything you could ever imagine.
We have been riddled with sneers about our ‘moving so much’, but literally, are you where you are called to be?? Or are you just settling for what’s less complicated?
Paul tells us, “As far as you’re concerned, we’re homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us.” 1 Chronicles 29:15 (MSG)
Peter says, “”Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” 1 Peter 2:11-12
As Christians, we are called to be like nomads. Jesus tells a rich man in the gospels that in order to follow Him, the man must give up everything he has and leave it behind to follow the Lord. Is our faith that important to us? Or are we so concerned about remaining in the same house, close to our friends and family, in the best school district for our kids and close to our jobs, that we give God a deaf ear when He calls us out?
Think about it. It’s of utmost importance… WHO are you living for?
You or the Lord?