Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How I Keep Going as a Youth Worker.

One of the ways that I keep myself sane is to journal.  In this book I hardly ever account the events of the day, but rather it contains my emotional reactions to life and my conversations with God.  When I filled up my last journal I happened to be at the local book store.  I wasn't planning on buying a new journal that day, but when I saw this image printed on the cover of a book of blank pages I felt compelled to buy it.

I put it in my bag and there it stayed for the next several weeks.  I normally write in my journal about every other day, but life had gotten so busy and out of control that I felt like I barely had time to breathe let alone write.  There were several times that pulled the book out intending to write, but I couldn't get past the cover.  It was as if God was speaking to me through these words.  When I finally did get to writing this is what came out.  I don't normally share my personal journal so I hope you are blessed by my less than organized thoughts.

When I saw the title of this journal I had to buy it.  I read the inside cover which explained that this cover was a reproduction of a poster created for display in London during world war 2.  There is something amazing about the picture of war-torn London being bombed every night and instead of panic there was resolve.  When my life and work have bombs detonating around me I have the words of a song wring through my head.  The Lyrics proclaim "Keep the faith and be strong".  Sometimes these words of hope are the only prayer I can muster.  This has been on my mind in the weeks since I bought this book.  This week in studying the bible with friends I ran into a verse that confirmed to me that it had been God speaking the simple words of "Keep Calm and Carry on"  It came in Exodus 14:14-15

The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.  Then Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me?  Tell the Israelites to move on."
With the Egyptian army on one side and the Red Sea on the other what did this mean to them?  They were expecting the worst - yet God was planning the impossible.  It is the tension of being still and carrying on at the same time.  Exactly what this poster was advocating for.  Being still or keeping calm is the attitude that we we need to be resolved to continue living normally in the midst of devastating circumstances.  It is then that we allow for the impossibility of God's plans to take place. 

The past few weeks in youth work the bombs seemed to be falling all around.  When the lives of these young people explode sometimes it hits close to home.  It hurts and you watch them things you care about disintegrate before your very eyes.  It can make you want to throw in the towel and run for the hills.  It is then that you need to remember to "Keep Calm and Carry On".

How do you get through the bombings in your life?
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