At the same time, youth ministry is involves what I would call “lose sleep over your students” commitment. It’s tiring. It’s frustrating. It’s surprising. It’s heavy. It’s a whole lot of planning and adjusting.
Then there are the people you work with, teenagers whose moods change like the weather in Texas. They are also the people that keep us doing what we do, because somehow, somewhere, God broke our hearts for them. I think God broke my heart for me when I was a teenager and I always felt the need to give that gift back.
Like every job or ministry, there are upsides and downsides and parts where we live in the middle, and many times when one just needs a break.
This being the case for me, we didn’t travel this year.
We didn’t go home to Ohio for Christmas.
We didn’t pack, prepare, or plan.
We didn’t get sick.
We didn’t fuss over wrapped gifts.
We didn’t go into the office.
We didn’t worry about parking, or someone picking up our mail.
We didn’t use the internet much, check email everyday, or update our statusus.
We didn’t go shopping for hours.
We didn’t feel pressure.
This Christmas was the first time that we didn’t do so many things. I missed my family incredibly, but I knew it was the right time for us, at least this year, to rest.
This Christmas has been one of our best. Over the past ten years we’ve never had a day quite like the one we shared together with our daughter in our home. We’ve never had a holiday where it was just us together, sharing our hearts with family over the phone, and our company with each other in the stillness of our non-schedule.
I’m going to stay right here today in the gift of withdrawal, solitude, fellowship, and rest.
Because we didn’t, we did have a seriously beautiful and simple Christmas.