Wednesday was a day of endings. At 6 in the morning I awoke to finish editing a MASSIVE independent study I've been working on for the last four months. I e-mailed it in super anti-climaticly and worked on the last final of the day. By 11:00 it was done, and so was my term at school.
Every term gets a little bit harder to finish. I mean I guess that's how it's supposed to be, things should get more and more challenging as you go. But this term for some reason took its toll more than other terms. This term left me beat. I remember after I finished my last paper just sitting at my desk in the office at work. I couldn't decide what to do next. I really wanted to curl up on our couches and go to sleep. But alas, there was still youth group that night.
This too was an ending. We're off for Thanksgiving next week, so this was the last Veritas we were going to have for a while. No Bible studies this week either, no Sunday School, no Confirmation. It is just time to be done for a week or so. We did the usual events. We had worship. The students met with their small groups. We played ripstick soccer. But after an impromptu meeting with a parent, at 9:13 pm, my week was over.
There's this thing that happens to me, and I think other youth workers, when you find yourself at the end. When everything is finished, everything wrapped up, the last kid gets dropped off and they close the car door behind them, you just deflate. All of the tired that you've been brushing aside for months for the greater good of the ministry hits you like a ton of bricks. My sweet Sarah could see it the moment I walked in the door. I was done.
And all of that was ok, because I knew I was coming here. The National Youth Worker's Convention. This is like the 10th or 11th year I've been coming to this convention. It feels like home. People who understand what ministry is. People who understand that tired feeling at the end of the day. People who get it. All gathered in one place with one singular purpose: to serve our kids better. This is going to be a good weekend.
Every year I try to blog my way through the convention, and this year will be no exception. Except that this year will be different. My good friend Ed last year used the convention to intentionally unwind, to purposefully work on his own soul care. He so enjoyed the experience that it makes me want that this year. I want to log some time in a prayer room. I want to try a spiritual director. I want long swaths of silence. So this year I will blog through the convention, but the focus will be much more on what God is doing in my life rather than what the experts are saying about youth ministry.
Isn't that a much more compelling subject matter anyway?
More to come.