Please forgive the random transitions between the following paragraphs. My lunch break has ended and there is no time for refinement. So this is your look into the weird way my brain skips around to merge unrelated topics together.
I absolutely hate vacation bible school. What are those songs, and why do you make me clap and sing, and do i really have to dance? I just can’t do it. I can’t even pretend to like it, it violates every piece of my soul.
Does this make me a bad Christian? Did you just judge me, assuming I think I am above the action or somehow “too cool” for Jesus?
I think we make those assumptions a lot, actually, and that it continues the culture that excludes people from the church. Yet, I make those assumptions too, trying to conform young people to act the way I want them to instead of encouraging them to be who they are. I know there are others struggling against this grain, because I have read and identified with their stories here and here.. And I can’t be the only one who fakes enthusiasm and pretends to be outgoing, can I?
This year, I want to spend as much time listening and loving as I do criticizing. And while I’m not working inside the church right now, i want to carry this truth with me where i do go. I want to support my advisees as they find their own voices, not force them to speak with mine.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the right way to relate to young people this year, deciding if teaching is a good fit for me, and trying to be a more positive influence on the college women I work with. My secret introverted self will continue to struggle against it, and will continue to be exhausted by the process, but I still feel that it is right for me. It’s like training my personality for a marathon.
So, this totally counts as exercise, right?