pay it forward?

I conversed with a person from my past. I person I invested much time into, much heart into. It was trip down memory lane as I listened to his voice move through the phone line into my ear. It brought a flood of memories back to me as I listened to him share various thoughts on various pieces of subject matter. It's funny how just a voice can transport you to a former life.

As we talked, it stirred many disappointments for me. So many of the students from my former youth ministry are not "paying it forward" so to speak. They are indulging in hardcore sin. I did something the other day I never want to do again. I surfed through "MySpaceLand" and caught a glimpse of who was doing what out there. I was horrified at what I found. One girl is a "midget prostitute" using MySpace to get more customers, many of them posted pictures of themselves "plastered" at parties, so many of the comments from friends were crude and seedy, speckled with provacative sexual content explicit enough to make me feel like I was viewing porn, others were unreserved in declaring their hatred toward God and their desire to live hedonistically, while some where just simply drifting out there with sad commentary on how bored they were and how aimless life was. I must have looked at over 20 of those profiles. It made my stomach sick. Many of these were kids who were "on fire" in High School, plugged in, attended regularly, and seeking to live according to God's desires.

There are few things that wreck me more than sheep going astray. Even though I'm in a different ministry, it still stings. I've even seen that in my current ministry lately. A few that were so of fire only months ago are sliding back to old habits and removing themselves from community. It's hard to not take it personally when you've invested time and even gone so far as to "count on" these people as comrades in the battle for life. When people become casualties of war or even worse yet, missing in action, it stabs you something fierce...sometimes in the back. It's hard to keep your head up when people let you down.

But keep my head up I must. There are still many more who are fighting the good fight. So many who are aiming for the Kingdom and pressing through the depravity to find the glory embedded in our world. I mustn't forget their zealous pursuit allowing it to get shrouded by clouds of disappointment and apparent failure.

It's just sad to feel like so much of what you've done is for naught.

Comments

barb said…
You do such good work - My family is eternally greatful for your wisdom and honesty - I pray that we have the opportunity to "pay it forward" You certainly have
Adam said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said…
Ja...

It's disheartening to hear this is happening. I want you to know that you've left such an indelible mark on my life, and have had such a profound influence on my journey. Words from your sermons still echo in my mind, as do the words from the many songs you've written. As I try to do as Christ did and love as he loved, the passion and abandon that you have modeled over the past years spur me on. Take heart, buddy.
The Dickinsons said…
I share your disappointment. Just a day ago, I had a former Christian school student of mine request to be my friend on MySpace. Why she asked me, I will now never understand. When I got to her sight, I was appalled & deeply saddened. She is now doing pornographic (completely) modeling & has these pictures posted on her sight.

John Piper has a great devotional that talks about having the appropriate amount of godly sorrow when those you care about are going astray. However, you cannot let that rob you of your joy that is yours in Christ.
ryderjones said…
Believe it or not, I know the feeling of seeing people go astray like this. So many friends I had in high school went off to college and changed for the worse, it's astounding. I never saw most of it coming, and I think that's what hurts the most, especially when you thought you knew them. Anyway, just thought I'd let you know you're not alone in feeling like this. You bolster me in my faith so much and you do the work of the Lord. Thanks for all you are!
climb ridges said…
"The man who is growing...will not become 'weary in well-doing' because he does not see every effort succeed. He will not care less for the progress of Christ's cause on earth as he grows older, though he will learn to expect less.
- J.C. Ryle (1800's), Holiness

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