I’m addicted to new.
Not in an unhealthy way, mind you. I have an appreciation for things that have endured time, but even in these things, I think the best way to treasure something that has been around is to continue to discover new ways to experience/appreciate/celebrate it.
But especially in regards to the “stuff” of God, I thrive on “New” happening. I think that’s one reason in particular I’m drawn to youth ministry. New things definitely happen everywhere God is moving. In every area of Church happening throughout our community, there exists the transformational “new” of God. But in youth ministry, there exists the potential for God’s “new” so close to the surface, all it takes is a prick sometimes, and it can break through in amazing ways. Many teens are so close to launching into something new, or hungry for a new Hope on their journey – I love being involved in what God is doing there.
I think some of it can stem from the “New” that was offered to me around those same years.
I can never remember how much of my personal story I’ve share in which venues. If you’ve shared life with me for a while, you’ve heard it many times. But if you’re fairly new, you may only know a few bits so far. So here’s a quick summary.
At the age of 10, life changed dramatically for my identity. Up until that point, I was being formed as a church-going, middle-to-lower class, class clown. I knew lots of Bible stories, songs, and verses, and how to make girls laugh at me. Then my birth-father went to prison. By the generous providing of God through food-stamps, church donations, surrogate family, and a mom who wouldn’t accept losing control of life – we didn’t slide into a defeated life. Thanks to God’s Love experienced through a church family, and words of Hope from several sources in my life during my teenage years – I was offered a New Identity. The labels offered to me by the world were continually losing appeal, and into those years God was speaking “Loved. My child. Image-bearer. Gifted to bring My Kingdom. New Creation.”, and more.
True, during many of those days the depth ran about as deep as a DC Talk song. But as I continued to step into the unknown and rest in Him, the identity God was offering continued to prove true. And even today, as our family steps into the unknown, relying on God to provide for our family in large ways – we hold fast to His promise that when we are living “in Christ”, THERE is New Creation happening. We hope that our home will be so caught up in New Creation, that when God returns to make all things new….we will cry out in a joy that the work is being completed!!!