Well let’s just go ahead and acknowledge the elephant in the room: TWO posts back to back. It’s a Back to School miracle, friends.
I think it’s a little early to celebrate consistency, though. We all know my track record when it comes to writing daily. Reference posts from last January where I committed to write for 30 minutes every night. I’m just going to ask for grace on that one and play the Four Children card. Live, learn, and don’t make internet commitments.
I can go ahead and tell you my two day streak will be broken tomorrow because LIVING PROOF LIVE with Beth Moore and 5000 of my closest friends in Mobile this weekend! Actually, I am traveling there with some very dear friends and I’m most certainly looking forward to all the talking and the processing and the rehashing every little thing under the sun.
My gal pal offered for us to take her minivan to this wee, little heard of event. I thought it was a grand idea because we’re all minivan types at this point. And what on earth is the point of caravanning if we can all be together? I just think togetherness is the way to go on spiritual excursions, don’t you?
She did text me an hour ago to ask if I would be willing to do some of the driving “if I was comfortable driving someone else’s vehicle.”
I gave a little chuckle. Wrecking someone else’s nice vehicle doesn’t even register on my radar as a concern. I didn’t tell her that, though. She might think me unconsciencious. (Someone, please tell me how to spell that word!?)
Her text led me to a mini-moment thinking of some of the other vehicles I’ve been trusted to drive on spiritual-type trips:
Ya’ll, I was 20 very young years old and a youth director at a small church near my college town. I look back now and wonder why on earth they trusted me as a youth director?! I WAS STILL A YOUTH MYSELF. Totally unaware of what a rookie I was, I decided my little brood of youths (who were all of 23-48 months younger than me) needed to experience the wonder of youth camp. So I picked one far away in Pennsylvania because I like an adventure and wanted to go somewhere I had never been.
See how spiritual I was.
Our church didn’t have a van, so I decided the only option was to rent one. (Because NOT riding altogether isn’t an option.) But when I made the call to set up the rental, they told me I wasn’t old enough to rent a van. A deacon had to go with me and sign for the thing.
This should be a standard qualification for youth directors/ministers. If they can’t legally rent a vehicle, maybe they shouldn’t be responsible for the spiritual formation of young people.
Anywho. My sweet deacon went with me to the rent-a-van place and signed his life away on the paperwork. The next day I drove it right out of the church parking lot filled to the brim with hormonal teenagers, blaring DC Talk, and worried not one iota about the safety hazards of handling a large vehicle.
And I was pulling a large trailer containing our luggage.
In what can only be considered Divine Protection, we made it back a week later with nary a scratch or lost soul. Which really does warrant thanksgiving to the Almighty because I have distinct memories of that trailer swinging violently back and forth behind us as I attempted to navigate the treacherous Shenandoah Valley roads.
Looking back as a 36 year old who’s come a long way, I wonder at the wisdom of letting me take off with all those precious sons and daughters under my care. And as much as I cringe at the thought of how much harm could have come to their physical bodies, I downright shudder at what kind of spiritual guidance I was giving.
Sheesh, ya’ll. I was just young and foolish and had very little spiritual maturity going for me. What was God thinking? I made a lot of mistakes. I think I might have taught some wrong doctrine. I didn’t know a thing about how to effectively disciple anyone. I had maybe 8 Biblical lessons up my sleeve that I pulled out on a regular basis. And I distinctly remember yelling at the whole lot of them one day during youth choir.
I was inadequate spiritual leadership material.
Strangely, 16 years later, I feel exactly the same way about myself.
Why on earth does He let me parent these children? I’m pretty sure I’m warping their pretty little souls! Why does He let me write? There are so many writers out there who have more wisdom to offer than me! Why does He let me lead groups to Haiti? I don’t know a thing about foreign missions. Why does He let me teach Bible studies and share at Women’s events and rock babies in the church nursery? I can’t be trusted with any of those!
Despite years of Bible study and seminary and books and conferences and podcasts, I am painfully aware that I am still inadequate spiritual leadership material. So why does He let me continue to have influence in the lives of others?
This is His reply,
“My grace is sufficient for your inadequacy, Beth, and my power is made perfect in your weakness.”
So I guess we can all let out a collective sigh of relief. None of us are adequate spiritual leadership material. But that doesn’t matter! In His wonderful grace, He choses to use us anyway.
By his Grand Design, he sets us up in situations where we are painfully aware of our lack, so that we’re forced to focus on His supply.
So go drive a church van up a mountain road pulling a trailer! He’ll be with you passing out grace every mile of the way.