Whenever I read a book, I get excited. Whether it’s a novel or a how-to book, the author pulls me into this grand and ideal world, full of possibilities and vision. The characters are larger than life. Concepts leap off the page and what you once thought was impossible suddenly creates a desire to engage in risky behaviors! I leave the pages of a book expectant to see change. I expect myself to adopt the book in its entirety, and if I don’t, then all is lost. It seems like it is either all or nothing for me. So, if I believe in something, I want to grab it all.
What happens in reality, however, over time, is a softening and a saturating of those ideas and concepts and possibilities. I realize that I am changed, ministry with children is different, my parenting is growing, in subtle and small ways. Most books capture larger-than-life stories meant to inspire and call-to-action. But in reality, things happen subtly. When a learner subjects him/herself into the literary world of ideas and concepts and possibilities, they soak into a person and seep out when necessary. Without that subjection, though, there is definitely nothing to “seep” out!
Adventures like this trip to Atlanta, GA are like a book that influences you over time. While I saw some neat things and talked with some stellar people, the impact will not be seen in the immediate, but hopefully, they will be seen and realized over time. I’m excited and anticipatory of a day in the future (perhaps another 5 years from now) where I look back on what things were like 5 years ago (now) and celebrate the growth and change to get it to where it can and should be in the future. Who knows what that is… God does. And it is by His grace, power and involvement (Spirit), that will really come to realize what ministry with children and youth look like @ Hayward Wesleyan Church and beyond in the years to come.