A Little Bite of Hopelessness

Today wasn’t too bad of a day.  I got some work done this morning, and am easily putting in to get close to full-time this week (I’m technically a “part-time” youth pastor, whatever that is), though there’s still tons of stuff coming up, and never time to get ready for it.

I had a good chance to think some about actually being licensed as a pastor, now that I’ve been here a few months, with the possible goal of ordination.

Prayers during lunch were short but sweet.

We had a meeting before the after school program (and after), where we had some good conversation about discipline and how we interact with the kids.  I don’t know that everyone was satisfied, but we came up with something to try, and it let us discuss some issues that hadn’t been addressed.

Our day with the jr. high kids was actually GOOD today.  Relatively speaking, of course… maybe that’s just a sign of our lowered expectations.  Still, they mostly cooperated, we had some fun with them, and they figured out that the quickest way to get through the Bible study into the games was by settling and participating.  That’s progress.

I had a chance to go on a short walk to the school with one of the jr. high kids in the program, a rare moment to hang out one-on-one without it being for discipline.  Short, sweet, and good.

We found out our absent kid was suspended from school, and for good reason.  We talked to him on the phone, he sounded repentant, and the program coordinator let him come on our reward trip as long as he would talk about what happened when he got back.  That’s a good thing, I think.

Before the potluck (which I’ve started going to regularly), I was able to talk with a few of the early kids.  Again, nothing significant, but still encouraging since I’m just getting to know this new group.

Rough interactions with one of the kids at potluck, same frustrating kid as last week.  He got a good talking to from an adult who knows him better (for how he acts to adults in general, not just me), so I pray things will improve.

Good time at potluck, hanging out with some of my youth group kids.

Found out that one of my youth group kids is into photography a lot more than I realized… that’s exciting.  I like contact points with kids that come naturally to me.

Some high schoolers came in during the potluck.  It was encouraging when I knew and could converse with some that I knew from Howard Area, and when others I didn’t remember still recognized me from helping out there (which, by the way, I’ve stopped working at for the time being… though these interactions sometimes make me regret it).

After potluck, got to play games with several of the kids before they had the leave.  Also a good place for me to get to know some of them.

All in all, today was a good day.  Some good work, and lots of positive and encouraging interactions with kids… nothing huge, but small steps that mean a lot in the long run.

Then, after potluck, my wife and I were walking home, and saw a few teens, including at least one high schooler from potluck, with their legs spread, palms flat on the front hood of a police car.  They weren’t arrested, thankfully, but it still makes one wonder… how can we possibly compete with this screwed up world?

And with something as simple as that, all my little encouragements built up during the day turned to ash, and it all seemed worthless.

If I wasn’t confident that one day Jesus will make sense out of all this crap, there really wouldn’t be anything keeping me here to care.  And even that’s tough some days.

~ by Peter on March 12, 2008.

One Response to “A Little Bite of Hopelessness”

  1. Yeah that stuff can twist things all around can’t it?

    Building relationships with the police (as a pastor and thus an advocate for the youth) can go a long way.

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