“Sock it to me,” from Aretha Franklin’s classic rendition of R-E-S-P-E-C-T has new meaning for me as it will now be permanently linked with – laundry.
I love church youth groups! I especially love church youth groups that aim to grow character and teach responsibility. Matthew had an opportunity to earn a Pathfinder honor recently and it was in – laundering. To receive this honor, he had to be responsible for the entire family’s laundry for one full week. Sorting, washing, drying, folding. The whole works! Thankfully, he chose a week where I was very busy with VBS, so it was most helpful to have him in charge of the mountain of clothes.
“I have so much more respect for you now mommy.” Thank you. I’m hoping he remembers that aura of respect the next time he eyes his neatly folded stack of laundry that mom did for him. If not, he may be forced to slave over folding and mating the socks forever. No R-E-S-P-E-C-T, then you will be stuck on sock duty. Sock it to you! Matthew admitted folding was what he hated the most. He says he will help more with laundry in the future, but first he wants to not have to see it for a while. Can’t blame the poor kid.
So now I’m a firm believer in every church having a Pathfinder youth group that encourages kids to get their laundering honor. Love it!
As I saw it unfold before me I could only shake my head and say, “Cramming.” If it wasn’t so frustrating it would be funny. We don’t always methodically prepare and study for something until we have a greater sense of urgency, leading to desperate and intense periods of exhaustive study of material – otherwise known as cramming. Alas, each generation has to learn it for themselves.
Matthew and his fellow pathfinders did a trial run yesterday, preparing for this coming weekend’s “Pathfinder Bible Experience.” They have been given selected passages from the Bible that the questions will be taken from. Their wise leader divided the passages up among the pathfinders so they would only have to concentrate on certain parts and be well prepared to answer questions from those passages. The pathfinders, having these assignments for months, demonstrated quite well that they prefer the cramming method of preparation.
Karl had a talk with Matthew this morning about how his knowledge of the assigned passages has increased as the sense of urgency has increased. I believe for many of us, that’s half of the battle – understanding the sense of urgency months out, so we don’t end up cramming at the end. I battle with this myself. I’m a lot more concerned about keeping my boss’ insurance in compliance as the deadline for renewal draws closer. I’m a lot more focused on my presentations to the women’s groups as the day of the seminar gets closer.
As always, God comes in and turns everything upside down. He doesn’t require any cramming. We don’t have to be perfect, well versed or in compliance before we come to Him. We just have to come. It is so simple, yet many still put this life changing decision off, because they feel no sense of urgency. They plan to live their life and then make things right with God just before they die of a nice old age. You don’t have to be perfect, just come. After all, you don’t know when your last day is. No cramming, just come.
My youngest son was looking forward to joining “Pathfinders,” a fantastic youth group at our church. They have strict rules about when they take in new pathfinders – once a year and you have to be a particular age and in a particular grade in school. Matthew just missed out. His birthday was a couple months after the deadline date.
That’s so unfair! I’m sure many would cry out for the leaders to have some compassion. But don’t miss this: when Matthew was the right age (and also the right grade), it meant something to him to finally be a pathfinder. He had to wait for it. It wasn’t just anything. He anticipated it.
What has the world of instant gratification done to us that we can’t encourage young people to wait for something great? Better yet, why can’t we encourage young people (folks of all ages actually) to strive for something even thought it might be difficult or challenging to reach the goal?
I saw a movie recently that had one quote in it that I can’t get out of my mind. It’s from the movie, “Listen to Your Heart.”
I’m not going to miss out on something that could be great just cause it might also be hard.
Matthew waited to be a pathfinder, and this youth group asks a lot of him, but it means something to be a pathfinder and he is willing to push himself because he sees that it is something great!