My Day Of Extremes

Saturday was my day of extremes.

It began around 5:30pm Saturday evening with the wedding of a former youth. Since I was a your pastor for so long, my "kids" are now growing up, graduating from college, and getting married. As more and more enter into marragie, more and more I get asked to perform the ceremony. This was the third "youth" wedding I've done and I have more planned for later in the year. The youth getting married this time around was Rachel. Rachel was always my wallflower. She was very quiet and only spoke when she felt she had something meaningful to say.

One of the most profound statements ever spoken to me as a youth pastor came from Rachel. It was one afternoon during our youth worship service when everything seemed to be going wrong. I work really hard to keep the flow moving in my services so when there's a glitch it really bothers me. That particular evening it was right after my message and a song was supposed to be played as a time of reflection. the music didn't work for whatever reason and I freaked out. there was nothing but silence for about 2-3 minutes but it felt like 30. When the music finally began, we wrapped up the service as planned and went home. As the student were leaving, Rachel who never says a word came up and told me how much she appreciated the silence. That life is to busy and it was good just to sit still for a few minutes without any noise. of course I thanked her with the nodding of the head like I had planned the whole thing out that way but really I was floored. Did she mean God can show up in silence? What a concept. I've taken that with me always and now there are several times when we will take a "time-out" during worship just to sit and be still.

After the wedding I got in my car to head home. When I checked my voice mail on my phone I had and urgent call from a friend to call him back when I could. After speaking with him, the news was broke to me that one of my former youth had died in a car accident. Can you go from a greater extreme then that. From celebrating the beginning of anew life together in one moment to hearing that a life was taken the next. I'm really at a loss for words about this death. I think after all the hundreds of students I've had contact with my my youth ministry this was the first one to die. I'm not one that believes all things happen for a reason. I think life happens. And in the middle of life's chaos, God shows up. I pray for the families dealing with this tragic loss that they can find God in this chaos. I pray that in the middle of all this "noise" I will take time and just be still. I think that's what Rachel would tell me.

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