My tendency when blogging is to focus on the fun and exciting things or wax philosophical. We all know life isn't that way.
Sometimes I wonder why I'm here. Tonight at youth group I only had two students there (we've only had 4 so far, and I knew one would be gone tonight). It's easy to get discouraged. There's more kids out there, but we're competing with work & sports schedules and other things. I know I'm doing other ministry in the church as well, but sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. [Okay, if you're from church and reading this, don't freak out and wonder what you've done--there's more to come.]
And of course, I know it is. In the few short weeks we've had youth group I've seen some growth and interest in the spiritual journey. And I know it will take time (we're basically starting from scratch in some ways). I can't just show up and expect huge crowds just because I'm here--if there was, I guess the temptation would be to think that it was all because of me. It's a good humility builder (like I needed another one). I need to build relationships and convince people that youth group is important for their walk (even if they're getting built up elsewhere--it's important to be a contributor as well as receiver). I need to just be incarnate (if I can properly use that here) with the people for a while. I need to show people that I care about them.
But knowing all that doesn't mean that it doesn't get frustrating at times. It doesn't mean that I don't get down on myself. So this is just a reminder that our lives are normal--even if they don't look that way on the blog. Life does have mountains and it does have valleys--but most of the time we're thriving (nay, existing) on the plains. It's not what our experiences are; it's how we handle them. We're called to be faithful, just as He is faithful. Stay the course, even when the trail is rough (after all, He did call us to the narrow path--not the wide, easy one). It's not about the rewards we may get in the end; it really is about the character we develop (it's not just a nice axiom that our parents toss out at us when we go through rough times). It's about persevering. And sometimes persevering sucks--at least at the time. His yoke may be easy and the burden light, but, hey, let's face it, it's still a yoke and a burden that we have to carry. But we don't carry it alone. Yokes aren't meant for one ox--they're for a pair. And our teammate is Christ, who has plenty of experience with shouldering burdens. And He offers to help with ours. Amen to that.