We had our big Youth Kick-off last night and it was awesome!!!!!! We had over 80 people there, youth and families, which is sort of astounding since we average about 20-30 a week. Our group has just grown a lot over the past year and I don’t just mean we’ve added a bunch of people. It’s obvious that students have really put down some good theological roots as they start to “talk the talk” like it’s just everyday speak, ask tough questions, and make choices based on their faith instead of on what everyone else is doing. It’s cool to be a part of and I’m grateful for all of it. With a growing group and the start of a new year comes…paperwork. Every year students have to turn in a new Youth Ministry registration form with all their info on it, like health insurance, school info, a liability waiver, media release…you get the idea. All of that has to be put into a database and then the forms are scanned and uploaded to the database as well (just in case). Even if a student has turned in all this information before there is always something that has to be changed…which means I spent 5ish hours today sorting through registration forms and entering data. It’s a lot of work up front but then it’s done for 12 months and it is great to have so that we can mass message the kids, parents, and volunteers or just in case something does happen we have everything we need in order to handle it. So yeah…I did paperwork all day. Talk about a let down after an awesome night of ministry.
But then I got home and as I pulled up into the driveway I realized…I need to water the yard and I really need to pull weeds. I moved into a house with my best friend just before Easter this year and I love living in a house. But it is VERY different from apartment life and sometimes I forget about all those little things you have to do on a regular basis. And I’ve been forgetting about those weeds since 4th of July. So I went in, feed the dogs, and got ready to do yard work.
We live on a corner lot of a cul-de-sac so there is a lot of yard, y’all. And we have those awesome 1950’s style sprinklers- you know the ones that look like someone is watering with a paper fan? Well anyway it has to be moved into at least 3 different spots to get the whole back yard so I started there. Then I headed up front to that beauty above and started tackling the weeds with my trusty garden trident. What is a garden trident you ask? It’s that 3 prong fork thing that you use to dig up weeds. It looks like a bent trident. I know that garden trident isn’t it’s proper title. I believe it is called a cultivator. But I mean come on- would you rather pull weeds with a “cultivator” or a GARDEN TRIDENT? Is there really any question? I didn’t think so. Moving right along…
So it’s been a long day and now I’m outside jacking with sprinklers and pulling up weeds and suddenly I feel…relaxed. Well, uh. There’s just something about working with your hands that’s very soothing and so the more I pulled up weeds the more calm and focused I felt. As my hands did their work my mind was free to think about other things and I got to thinking about the stories Christ told about weeds, gardening/farming, and things that grow. I could think of several times where that sort of language pops up in scripture. And after spending some time outside today I felt doubly blessed by those words. It makes sense for people who needed to work the land in order to eat (no such thing as Ye Olde HEB) to tell stories about nature and faith but how amazing that even though all my veggies come from the store all it takes is one small flower bed to remind me of the awesomeness of creation and the Creator. And how amazing it is that we are invited to not just see this creation but to be given responsibility for its care. To still be called to be gardeners long after we’ve lost the right to enter the Garden.
After having spent 2ish hours outside I feel more energized and excited than I have all day. I’ll be honest and tell you that I didn’t get all the weeds…but I got a lot of them!
Tomorrow I’ll head back to my office and have more paper work to do and more emails to send and more letters to mail out. I’ll have to work on confirmation lessons and bible study lessons. But it’s all gardening. It’s all working the ground so that stuff can grow. It’s pulling weeds so that the life doesn’t get choked out of the beauty. It’s the worked that I’m called to- the work we are all called to in one form or another. What a blessing to work alongside the Creator in His Creation. What a blessing to be a gardener.