Time travel is real.
Back To The Future is a movie and it is not real. But time travel is. If you think it isn’t real, that’s okay. But please don’t tell me you don’t believe in it. It’s sort of like telling a five year old that the tooth fairy is really your mom or your sneaky sister.
In case you’re in between time zones on this. Let me give you a few reasons to jump to the belief side.
Every day that I had a a young middle school student come into our youth ministry I wanted them to look around. I could see their nerves. They would also tell me about them.
Middle schoolers are great like that, they tell you what they are thinking without much of a filter. When they’d get nervous or weirded out by a new environment or transition I wanted them to see into the future with me. I wanted them to take a picture with me standing together so we could take another picture in 8th grade when they are taller than me. Being a youth pastor means helping kids in your group imagine themselves grown up while they are still so far from it. So whether they love it or hate it, they’ve got perspective in the moment, something to look forward to and appreciate.
8th grade graduation is awesome. I spend a lot time with my 6th graders saying, “isn’t that cool that you get to see where you’ll be before you get there?” “What do you think you’ll feel like when you go to high school?”
Last week I went to my daughters school to have lunch with her I accidentally went into youth pastor mode with her (she’s in 2nd grade, sometimes youth pastor mode isn’t her favorite). But she liked it this time. And I did too because I realized what I have been doing with students in my youth group all of these years is exactly what I should be doing with my own kids.
We were eating lunch outside together when a 3rd grade class walked by. My daughter, Kirra, said “hey mom, they are so big and different than 2nd graders.”
I said, “yeah, they are, wow, that’s like super human growth. But, can I tell you a secret?”
Of course she wanted to know.
“Did you know that you are seeing something that a lot of people don’t see?”
“You’re seeing into the future. Right now you just traveled to the future!”
“But how? (when she asks how like this my mom heart flips over, i love when curious runs wild in her eyes)
“You can see where you’ll be at this time next year. Look at them, that’s you on this exact same day, next year.”
I felt so happy for her to see it, to be able to imagine her life in the future. And so sad for me because I don’t want her to leave the phase that she is in. But this is what parenting is all about. It’s about imagining the end and making loving choices that help our kids get there bravely.
Then the Kindergarten class walked by and we time traveled again. (Being a parent is fun.)
“Look Kirra! You can see into the past. That was you three years ago. Can you believe that?”
“Whoa, mama, they are so little.”
“That will be your little sister next year. Do you remember what being that little felt like? What do you want your sister to know?”
“She should bring in stuff for show and tell. Because you don’t get show and tell in 1st grade.”
It was a very wise and grateful thing to say. Time travel makes kids say things like they are 100 years old and makes parents feel like they are five again. You really should try it sometime.
Wherever you are with you kids or youth group. Be there with them. Help them to see that where they are is a good place to be and a good place to grow. But don’t forget to help them see the future. Don’t forget to put them in the path of the future. Let them sit in big church to see what faith looks like when people are 85. Let them go with you to teach a Sunday school class to remember what faith looked like when they were three.
Even though phases happen one at a time. We can benefit form the phases happening all around us.
Time travel helps us do a lot of things.
1. It helps us to learn from the past
2. It helps us imagine the future
3. It helps us learn things from others
4. It fills us with wonder
5. It makes us grateful for the moments we have
Do you believe in time travel?
I hope so. If you don’t. It’s cool. I don’t need to know.
If you want to learn about what it’s like to help parents and leaders navigate through all of the phases of a kids life, we are going to be talking about all of them (a lot) at Orange Conference next week. If you’re there, awesome. I think time travel with friends is fun too. I want to time travel with you!
If you didn’t get a chance to register, you can time travel with us on live stream.
Be a part of the Orange Conference action—wherever you are! http://bit.ly/1OvD7g8 #OC15