I have a confession to make. Sometimes I wonder if I am missing the boat by not being more involved with church…specifically the YOUTH at the church…..specifically MY YOUTH at the church. As in Emily.
She is very, very involved with the church. Never misses Sunday service, no matter how late she was up the night before….nor how busy she is. She still goes to church. Most of her social life revolves around the youth group. She is best buds with all the leaders. Her dad’s next door neighbor is very, very into the youth. She is involved in the “tutoring” program at the church. “Involved” is a gross understatement. Even the word tutor is misleading. She goes way above and way beyond anything you would ever expect a tutor to do. Mentor might be a better description…although even that falls far short.
She and her husband have been mentoring the same boy all through his high school years. He is from the area of town they call “Little Philly”….and he belongs to the group of people whom the town unaffectionately refer to as “the influx.” The blacks from Philadelphia.
She has been surrogate mom to this kid for the past four years. Buys his clothes, pays for his cell phone…supports all his sports activities. When the basketball team was in the play offs she and her husband went to all the play off games….hours and hours away. I don't know all the details of his home life...other than....he needs a mentor....a friend....a surrogate mom. He is graduating this year and going away to college. She has been assigned another boy to mentor. Lucky kid.
When Emily is staying with her dad, she spends a lot of time at Mrs. G’s house. Emily babysits her kids (a three year old and a newborn) and goes there for help with homework etc. Sometimes she takes the three year old to the park. They have become good friends. I am glad for their friendship. Their bond is the kind of friendship that has helped to keep Emily on the straight and narrow. I am also refering to other friendships she shares with all the dedicated, adult (but still young enough to be cool) youth leaders. They truly "put their money where their mouth is" when it comes to their involvement with the youth of the church (and youth "not of the church" too) I often wonder how Beth’s life might have taken a different turn if she had stay involved with the youth group…instead of choosing her friends from the “dark side.”
So sometimes, when I consider people like Mrs. G. I get these pangs of guilt. I am not involved with the church…do not go to Wednesday night festivities (dinner and small groups) I only make it to Sunday services once or twice a month. This translates to “I am a bad mom.”
And I wonder....am I really making the best use of my”free time” surfing the internet for "paydirt" .....those diamonds in dung heaps I occasionally happen upon which bless me and others? Do the online fellowships... several message boards and the yahoo groups where I participate equal the value of face to face relationships? And what about writing here, on this blog? Does it matter? I wonder.
So the following two verses struck me as I was reading the Concordant Version of Psalm 90…..
So make us know how to assign our days
That we may come to a heart of wisdom. Concordant
(NLT) Teach us to make the most of our time,
so that we may grow in wisdom.
Let the pleasantness of Yahweh our Elohim be over us
Do establish the work of our hands for us
Yea, the work of our hands do establish it. Concordant
(Amplified) And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands--yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.
That is going to be my new prayer. My mantra. Lord, make me know how to assign my days that I may come to a heart of wisdom…..establish the work of my hands…..