Hello, Old Friend
I can't tell you how many times I have come here intending to write a new post. I never could seem to get it done, though. Of course May and June are always busy months around the office, but there is no excuse for my extended absence. If any of you still check this thing out, my sincerest apologies. But, man, it feels good to be back. For some psychological reason, I tend to keep things, especially thoughts and feelings, very close to me. I mull things over to no end. This has landed me in therapy more than once. So, the practice (and discipline) of blogging is something that is very beneficial for me, and I'm extremely grateful to those of you gracious enough to share in it with me.
So, what to write about?
I think I'll go ahead and tackle one I've been meaning to for awhile. This speaks to the question of why I love doing what I do.
More than once on this blog and elsewhere I have made allusion or direct reference to my frustration at producing short sketches for upper-middle-class, suburban white American kids. I have long ago tried to make some kind of peace with this. What follows is a short picture of why I actually love it, however frustrating it can be at times.
Earlier this summer, on June 1st, in fact, I was up at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA with our Blue team for their first week of camp. This is a great team of people. We at Student Life were extremely blessed this year with regards to our production staffs. Sure, there's been some struggles along the way, but for the most part, they've been awesome, and the Blue team helped set the bar. This particular day was their second day of camp. So, they had been through Orientation, Celebration and two nights of Worship and had done a really grate job. However, at 10:30 that night they had to tackle their first night of Late Nite.
This particular night was called "Gendergeddon" and involved a number of different activities that pitted the guys against the girls. Throughout the night they have various opportunities to score points for their particular gender. Intermindlged throughout the night are some funny videos. There was a lot of chaos going on in trying to get it all set up and ready to go, but once things got going, they did a great job, in particular the Blue team actors, Jill, Ian and Matt.
About halfway through Gendergeddon there was a moment where one girl would be brought onstage to be crowned the queen of Late Nite and one guy would be brought onstage to be crowned the king. The girl they had chosen was older, late high school, and pretty. An obvious candidate. She came up and was given her crown. Then they called out the guys name. The one they chose was a seventh grade boy who was actually sitting down in a row about midway back through the room. When he heard his name called, he tentatively stood up, stepped out into the aisle, and nervously looked around. There was a huge group of older guys crowding the front of the stage. They were all looking around for who had been chosen as king. They looked up the aisle and noticed this junior high guy. When he saw them staring at him, he threw his arms in the air triumphantly. The guys all cheered and ran down the aisle, picking him up and hoisting him on their shoulders. The put him up onstage. Matt lifted him up again and Ian bestowed his crown upon him. It was glorious.
Now, you might be wondering why that illustrates why I love what I do. After all, there wasn't a whole lot of creativity in that moment. It was much more up to random chance that it even happened. There doesn't seem to be hardly any spiritual benefit at all to that moment and we don't even get to know what happened to that kid after Late Nite that night.
So, allow me to explain. No, it wasn't a big moment, spiritually or otherwise, and I really didn't have much to do with it at all. But that's the beauty. Who knows who this kid was? Who knows what was going on with him? Who knows how the rest of camp went for him or what kinds of things he had to deal with once he went back home? I don't know. But what I do know, is that for a short amount of time, this shy junior high boy was honored. He was lifted up and elevated and encouraged. I guarantee his group was talking about it. I guarantee he was talking about it. I also can expect that this silly, little moment also kept him engaged. God ordained a ridiculous Late Nite called Gendergeddon and had Matt pick this guy specifically for that moment to happen, for him to have fun amongst other Christians, to be able to carry that with him. That moment alone isn't really significant, but what we get to do at Student Life hopefully engages students in a series of those types of moments. Some of them have a lot more spiritual value, but my prayer and desire is that all of them serve to assist churches and youth workers in keeping their students interested and engaged in ways they weren't expecting.
As I read back over this, I'm not sure it will make a lot of sense to you, but it does to me.
And I love it.