There was a time when I thought I could never be effective in serving the youth. It was a result of a traumatic experience of serving in a recollection for graduating college students and being insulted while I was teaching a beautiful song and then giving a talk on God's love. I told myself I was meant to serve the single young professionals; that my jokes, experiences and insights were not meant for the teenage crowd.
I'm in awe of how God was able to change my limited perspective of His plan and His power. All of a sudden, I found myself serving three times a week in the parish youth ministry. Of course I could not have done it alone and I had wonderful people guiding me and leading the different aspects of the summer youth program, but all in all to be part of this work was never my plan for myself and something I thought was impossible to happen.
It is gratifying to work with the youth. Aside from the fact that they insist I'm twenty-five (25!) years old (God bless them), they are very open to the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. I find it easier to talk about my faith with them than with some grownups who are set in their ways of relating to God and who are not open to fresh approaches and different people. They are very honest about their backgrounds and circumstances. They appreciate the littlest of efforts and always greet with a smile.
Of course, there are painfully shy teenagers in our parish who are just a challenge to reach out to, but in their place more than a hundred people have come to partake of the banquet that God had prepared for them through the Alpha Course for Youth within the Youth Alive summer program.
I know now that there is no limit to what God can do through me, even if I refuse or hold back, He has His ways of transforming His servants in His own time. There may be new and complicated situations I'm encountering right now, but I'm learning as well to lean on God and have faith that He will intervene and never let His sheep down. Things may not go as I wish they would, for I am idealistic to the point of being naive sometimes, but God is in control, and I am not afraid to trust Him on this one.
It is in matters more personal to me that I struggle with my faith. Those I would write about some other time.