5. Eventually the water will recede. On Monday morning I made the trip into Nashville. It was amazing to me how the waters had receded. That which was impassable less than 24 hours earlier, was now open and for the most part clear of debris.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve resigned (in my head) on Monday morning. Sunday had been crazy; more kids than teachers, more questions than answers, more work than hours to get it done. It’s always funny to me how just when I think this is it and I’m going “under” for the last time, the water resides and I find my footing. I think I know why.
For me, it’s always in the struggle that I seek God most fervently. It’s in the struggle that I knock, seek, and ask God for help. And, it’s when I seek Him that He gives me the answer, offers me a refuge, or assures me of His presence. Why I wait for the flood before I seek (I’m working on this) I don’t know… but every time I get serious about seeking, I receive the blessing of His answers.
6. Just because it looks pretty, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. It was hard to work on Monday. Everyone wanted to know what was going on; where was the water level, which buildings were being evacuated, who had been flooded? After work on Monday I decided to take a walk toward the river. Lifeway is located between 8th and 11th Avenues, so nine blocks from the river. As I started walking I realized that our buildings were now only 5 blocks away from the water. The water was up past 3rd Avenue and rising. The first thing I saw was Nashville’s gorgeous neoclassical Schermerhorn Symphony Center… with a reflecting pool in front of it. At first glance I thought, “how pretty,” but immediately realized that pool wasn’t supposed to be there. What was 4th Avenue was now a pond! It was pretty to look at, but the truth is this was not good!
Over the years I’ve noticed that there are some really “pretty” things out there in Kids Ministry. I can’t even count the number of resource options currently available. One of the things I’ve come to realize is that “all that glitters isn’t gold.” In other words, just because it looks pretty, doesn’t mean it’s good for you! We MUST be careful when choosing resources. We MUST not just look at the exterior design, the theme, or the marketing! It’s our responsibility to look inside and be certain that the resources we choose for our kids are the best.
I use the following as a litmus test for resources I choose: Is it A B C D E? Age Suitable, Bible Based, Child Centered, Doctrinally Sound, and Educationally Appropriate? Oh, there are other things to consider, but this is where I start. I would encourage you to do the same!
7. Conserving water is a good thing! Over the next day or two, clean water started to be an issue. It seems that Nashville has two water treatment plants and one is completely under flood water. That means that the city has half the capacity to provide pure water for those of us in who used Metro Water. So, we’ve been asked to conserve. They’ve asked us to cut our water usage in half. So, we’re not to wash (washing machines, dish washers, showers), not to flush unless necessary (I’m still trying to figure out when it’s necessary and when it’s not), and by all means not to water your lawn (please tell me who thinks they need to water their lawn after +15” of rain last weekend)! In a word, conserve.
I tend to try to do everything. I want to give it my all and give my all, all at once. I take that character trait with me to Kids Ministry and have noticed that a lot of my colleagues do the same. “Let’s do it all and do it big!” As I’ve matured (grown older) I’ve grown to realize that sometimes it’s okay to “eat the elephant one bit at a time!” You don’t have to do it all, all at once! Often that mentality will lead to premature burn out and an unrealistic expectation for the future.
My advice to young Kids ministers is to practice the art of conservation. Hear me well, DON’T BE LAZY… there’s little room for that in our work, but be careful not to get so many projects going and plates spinning that you don’t (or can’t) do any of them well. Conserve!
Bottom Line: I’m sure God’s plans are bigger than mine. Seek to find Him in the floods of your life!
Don’t miss the final post of this series tomorrow…