What are you doing? You aren’t a writer. Why would anyone want to read this?
This are the thoughts that are going through my head right now as I sit at my computer preparing to write my first blog post.
And to be honest they have a valid point. (Did I just refer to my thoughts as “they?”… Yes, yes I did).
I’ve actually been thinking about starting this for a while now, but I tend to feel like I don’t really have anything to share. I mean, what could I possibly have to offer that someone more educated, and more eloquent, hasn’t already said. This is pretty typical thinking for me, especially when it comes to anything remotely academic, even more so when it comes to writing.
I have honestly never thought of myself as a writer. This belief was backed up plenty of times by my high school teachers (I’ll save that sob story for another day), but for some reason I feel like I am supposed to write.
So here goes nothing.
I didn’t want to start this blog with a whole introduction to my life and what not. If you would like to know that, please check out my about page.
What I really wanted to start with was something more. Have you ever read the first page of a book and thought, man, I need to know what happens next, so you keep reading. That is what I want this first post to be. I want it to leave you wanting more so hopefully you will come back [crap Ben, stop sharing what your strategy is]. Trust me, it’s not because I crave your attention but because sooner or later I’m bound to post something that might be helpful to you (hopefully).
I guess today I want to share something with you that has been at the forefront of my mind this past week.
It all started last Wednesday when I took my youth group to a youth conference in Colorado Springs, called the Desperation Conference.
I’ve been the youth pastor at my church for a little over 2 years and this was our 3rd time attending the conference so I thought I knew what to expect by now. I know that they are going to have incredible speakers and rocking bands. I know that they are going to have an amazing stage design and lights that could cause seizures. I know that teenagers are going to make decisions to give their lives to Christ, and I know that some of those decisions (not all, just some) will be forgotten within the next 2 weeks after the conference is over.
But I was not prepared for what happened over the course of the 3 days that we were there. Of course everything I expected still happened, but it was so much more than that. I did not expect God to get a hold of my life the way He did. I will admit that while I, truly, was going there with hopes that He would speak to me, I honestly didn’t have high expectations. I had been in somewhat of a slump lately. Not necessarily in my walk with God, that had actually been going fairly well recently. No, it was more of a ministry slump. I had been losing my passion and my interest in youth and I didn’t understand why.
I accepted Christ in my life when I was 17, and it wasn’t long after that that I felt God calling me to youth ministry. I loved my youth pastors. I could never explain in words, or in writing, how much they have meant to me and my walk with Christ. I considered them, and still do consider them, some of my best friends. And I knew that was what God was calling me to, He wanted me to be that person to others like they were for me.
But 2 years into youth ministry and I hadn’t seen the results that I hoped I would. If anything, it almost felt like I was headed in the opposite direction. I’ve always tried to do, in ministry, what I felt God was asking me to do. I’ve tried not focusing on numbers and just focus on the ones that show up. I’ve tried to be open and honest about who I am, never trying to pretend to be someone or something I’m not. I’ve shared my story, the mistakes I’ve made, the triumphs I’ve achieved, and the struggles I still face today.
Yet, I still felt stuck. Not moving forward, not gaining any ground. Just stuck. I wanted a vision for what I was supposed to do, a plan for what our group was supposed to be.
That’s where God got a hold of me. He said to me, “I don’t want to give you clarity, I want you to trust Me.”
That’s why I decided to title this first post “Clarity in the Fog.” Because God made it clear to me that I’m not supposed to know the whole plan. I’m only supposed to keep putting one foot in front of the other and trusting that He is taking me where He wants me to go.
To tell you the truth, that’s all I really needed to hear. I just needed to know that He was still with me, that I am still where I am supposed to be, and that He isn’t finished with me yet. I am still a work in progress.
So here I am, with a renewed passion and purpose, ready to get back into the grind.
That’s why I finally decided to start this blog. There’s never a better time to start than today, right now. Whatever God has been putting on your heart, just start, then trust Him to take you wherever He wants you to go.
That’s what I’m doing, I’d love for you to come along for the ride.
Hopefully they won’t all be this long (I wouldn’t want to read this much every time either). But I am hoping that they will be funny and insightful, thought provoking and challenging; but most importantly, I’m hoping that they might help you with whatever you are dealing with in your life, with God, with people, with your spouse (trust me, mine will probably be making regular appearances here).
Thank you for taking the time to read.
P.S. I spoke at our church this past Sunday and shared a similar message to what you just read. If you’d like to watch it you can at http://www.greeleymosaic.com/current-message/