GK Chesterton's words from his book entitled "Orthodoxy" inspired this blog for one reason. It captures so much of what goes on behind the lives of people who have chosen to serve God in many different ways. For me, it's currently youth ministry.
The swiftest things are the softest things. A bird is active because a bird is soft. A stone is helpless, because a stone is hard. The stone must by its own nature go downwards because hardness is weakness. A bird can of it's nature go upwards because fragility is force.
I was drawn to this reading into a book entitled "Forgotten Among Lilies" by Ronald Rolheiser. He says much of life becomes a bitter pill when we become too "hard" and fear the vulnerability that comes with loving and service. Well, those weren't his exact words but what comes to my mind when I read Chesterton's words was the verse from Isaiah that says,
Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength they will soar on wings of eagles they will run and not grow weary they will walk and not grow faint.
Every person who I think has responded to God's call on working for the kingdom has felt in one way or another a weariness that can only be consoled by Him. Despite this weariness, there is that fragile force that keeps pushing the heart to be lifted up so that it keeps on with that forward or upward motion towards realizing the hope that does not disappoint.
I've been a youth minister since 2005 and I've been hooked. I've been lifted up and brought low. I've reached the heights and hit the ground crashing. To think I only landed on that ministerial role by accident, I often wonder why I keep on at it whether or not I remain formally and informally part of an apostolate. There always seems to be this part of me that continues to believe in the young. Perhaps it is because I resonate with their struggles, their victories and defeats. Perhaps it is because young people never give up trying. Perhaps because I was once a young person who wanted second chances.
I won't be writing this alone. Others will write with me. Hopefully along the journey, we will all come to understand this compelling vocation to serve in youth ministry and keep up with the authentic call to live this life of faith.