After a brief excursion back to reality for a wedding i find myself once again thrown, head long into confusion and chaos, or in the words of William Shakespeare, “Once more into the breach dear friends”.
On that brief excursion i had a lot of meaningful conversations and realizations as i verbally processed through my first month at shelterwood. And here are some of my discoveries.
- When i was back in boulder sitting in a car listening to some pop music on the radio i started to listen to the words. and i did the same for the next song and the next song and then i became very solem. I realized that the kids i use to work with in youth ministry listened to this music and would at times idolize it like oh wouldn’t it be great to be rich and famous and be able to do whatever the F i want and the kids at shelter wood listen to that music and actually do it. They have bought into the lies that this society, and our media have portrayed. What was supposed to be only the harmless “entertainment” for the youth of america became attainment, or at least the active pursuit of a lifestyle not meant to be lived by anyone. A life without boundaries and rules is not paradise, its hell, because it allows our fallen natures to do exactly that, fall. And once we start falling in a world world with no boundaries there is nothing to slow us down, (apparently the first newtonian law is applicable to children as well as physics).
- I realized that one of the hardest things about working at shelterwood is not the kids but actually myself. Working here exposes issues, and sins that for my entire life i have been able to in one way or another, repress, suppress, ignore or avoid. In the words in William Tuell, “Not anymore your not”. On a daily basis these flaws get exposed and brought to the surface and i am placed in situations that do not allow me to ignore or deny them. The only way forward is to deal with these issues and repent.
- For example, control, I have realized that i am a bit of a control freak and when i am not in control of a situation its really stressful. Turns out at shelterwood the only time i am consistently in control is when i am sleeping, and even then the kids like to open the windows and set off the alarm. A lot of times when the kids are acting up i realize that my desire to give them consequences comes more from my personal frustration than my desire to shape their behavior and make them into better people. This is a huge problem because these kids are amazingly perceptive and can tell when i am frustrated and disciplining out of anger vs. love.