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six things I learned from six flags…

We took the youth group on our annual “Back to School” type thing yesterday. Every year we do something celebratory, and this year it took the form of us all heading to a “non-thinking” park. At the end of the day, with blistered feet, a wet shirt, and queasy stomach; I’ve learned a few things:

1. Teenagers are not adults. But then again, neither are many adults. I’m not sure we can say “act like an adult” to our teens, when so many adults out there aren’t even doing it. How easy it is for two men in their 30’s to be reduced to the level of my own daughter fighting over a toy she doesn’t want to share.

2. All that being said, man I love teenagers. Not just our own youth group, but to watch them all around the park. Establishing identities as individuals. Figuring out who they are in the context of who those around them are. Making sure they look a certain way. (either cool, or like they’re too cool to look cool, etc.) Even those “forced” to walk around with their “unhip” parents all day (you could tell who they were). Trying hard to look like they’re not trying. In the blazing hot August sun. It makes you smile.

3. We will buy ANYTHING when we’re “not-thinking”. (a-muse-ment) Seriously, the hats, glowing swords, light-up sunglasses, etc. that you will never wear again anywhere with as much pride or excitement. But $10 for a neon green and red Cat in the Hat-lookin’ thing? Sure!! 🙂

4. I’m not the coaster-buff I used to be. I’m not sure what else to say here. The ups, the downs, the twists, the turns, the speeds…..ugh. They affect my body a whole lot more than they used to. For a fun day, I would’ve much rather spent the day kayaking on a slow river, or even reading a book with some coffee, or just sitting in an air-conditioned room playing cards with some friends. Am I old, or just boring? Maybe both.

5. At the same time, I loved it. The anticipation of the ride. Discovering what each ride was like. Not quite scared of death, but awfully close to being afraid of injury. Being the one that screamed ridiculously long even before the ride began, to give the rest of the riders something to laugh at (or be annoyed/embarrassed by). The Cartoon Characters, the water park, and yah….Mr.Freeze was awesome.

6. It doesn’t matter how many forms/registrations/announcements a youth pastor makes. There will still be people calling last minute to tell you they’re going. (no you’re not) There will still be people who tell you they’re coming, but haven’t paid yet, that totally won’t show up…even though they’re the reason you told the first people they couldn’t come. Sigh. Still, we took 24 people on one bus, and spent the entire day open to close.

It was a great trip. 🙂 Happy School Year.


Husband, Father, Pastor, Missionary, Writer, Poet, Friend, reader, coffee enthusiast, hockey Wing-Nut, musical participator, etc...

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