I attended a youth rally this weekend with our church youth group. It was fun to watch my girls participate in something that I loved at their age. It was fun to watch the kids interact with the youth minister and each other and reflect back on my own youth group experience. Not much has changed since back in the day.
In fact, one of the keynote speakers was the exact same guy that we once had. Believe it or not, he still kept the kids attention. He still spoke their language. He had a message that was still relevant. Yes, I know, truth is always relevant. I just think it is a talented speaker who can speak to kids in a span from the 80s to present and still do it in a way that they will get it. Not much has changed since back in the day.
I did note that while the general topic might have been one we might have heard back in the day, spiritual disciplines, the list was a bit revised and updated. Don’t worry, nothing was added to the bible. Don’t worry, this is not about how much we missed out on back in the day. I had a great youth group experience. I had a wonderful and relevant youth minister. It appears that my kids will be able to say the same. Not much has changed since back in the day.
I just don’t think our topics back in the day included the disciplines of fasting or Christian meditation. If they did, it was one of those times I was off pondering about something else during the middle of the lesson. Not much has changed since back in the day.
Or, maybe they were just presented differently back then and called something else. Or, maybe I was listening thru updated experiences and seeing it thru new lenses so it sounded like a new message. Maybe it was a little of both.
I was thankful that the 12 disciplines presented were not presented as a check list of rules. I was thankful the central message was that these were things that would strengthen your relationship with God. Things that would bring you closer to the Lord of your life. Things that would feed your spirit.
I don’t know how much the kids took in to their spirits from the weekend. I’m sure that was no different than back in the day either. Some were listening intently and soaking it in. Some wanted to hear something that would change their lives. Some looked like they were listening unless you looked real close. Their eyes were focused towards the speaker, but their minds were a world away, or just a few inches away thinking about their friend next to them or their phone burning a whole in their pocket. Then there were some that weren’t even pretending to listen. Not much has changed since back in the day.
I wish I could say all of this left me with an uplifted spirit. I wish I could say that something deep down inside of me didn’t notice the things that haven’t changed that need to, at least from my perspective. One day, maybe soon, I will share those insights. It will depend on where those thoughts lead me. It will depend on what God places on my heart to share.
Not much has changed since back in the day, except my heart toward God…that may be the stirring that makes some of the lack of change I saw a bit unsettling to my soul. I will ponder if the things that remain unchanged that unsettle me are relevant to this place in my walk. I will ponder what God is doing in this unsettled place. One thing I didn’t recognize back in the day that I do now is that when you get an unsettled feeling, God is up to something.