I ran across an old blog that I had started over a year ago and never really kept up with. This is a re-blog of a post I wrote, I thought it was fitting for what I have been learning lately. I wrote this post originally in April.
Several weekends ago we took 26 youth to Youth Quake, an event held not too far away for Junior High youth. It was awesome. We’d been talking about Youth Quake for months- since October to be exact. Posters had been up, flyers and mailings went out, and I talked it up, and up again. We even had the band come visit us just before the event.
Friday came and I was ready for it to have come. I had almost all the paperwork I needed from people, and I knew that once I had the paperwork and everyone was on the bus or in the van we could depart and from there the fun would begin. All the planning and tracking kids down would be a distant memory compared to how awesome it would be to just be at the Quake hanging with my youth.
Thursday night and Friday morning I packed my bag. I packed extras of anything other people might forget and extras of my own stuff. (sure I forgot something at home and had to run back for it friday morning, but I had it packed anyway). I had made copies of forms, copies of Bible Studies, copies of Schedules. We. were.good.
As the youth started coming on Friday we loaded up our breakfast food and all the youth’s bags. We had hoped to leave by 5pm but we were a little late getting on the road. In the end, my vehicle left first while the others finished up in hopes that by the time the rest got there we were ready to get moved into rooms and get ready for the first event without much delay.
About halfway to the event I realized I hadn’t moved my duffel bag from the back of my car to one of the two vehicles we had packed. It was still sitting in the back of my car in the church parking lot. And by this point we were 30 minutes down the road… I’d worried so much about getting everyone else set to go, making sure we had enough food and drinks for the weekend (which we came back with a TON) and having copies of everything so we wouldn’t lack anything all the while I ended up forgetting my own stuff.
It got me thinking, how often do people worry about other people, take care of other people, teach other people, and often forget ourselves in the process? How often to do spend more time on others and not enough on our selves?
Sometimes we rationalize selfishness. Or we say we are fine. Sometimes we just plain forget.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating being selfish or doing for yourself first…keep reading!
As teachers of the faith, how often do we treat it a little like I treated those bags? We check off the boxes as we teach children or youth about faith. We feel accomplished after we teach Sunday school. And we’ve done our duty once we go to worship too. But teaching faith is a bit like serving juice from a pitcher. Eventually you have to fill that pitcher up or you won’t have enough to serve them all. Even better so if we never let it get empty we will always have enough to give to others.
Yes, serving God by serving others is great. Yes, we’re supposed to put others before ourselves. But before we can teach others we have to fill our own pitcher. We have to be spiritually fed ourselves so our pitcher never runs dry, so we don’t burn out.
In the end, I had to drive back to the church once the day was over to get the bag I’d left behind. It all worked out and was a good lesson! Always pack yer bag!