I'm robbing Alyssa. Her blog is fantastic, and she is much more creative than I. She has a section that she calls "Three Things Thursday", where she creatively shares three things. I can barely post once a month, so I feel like having something like this would be useless until I can get better at that. With that said: I decided to steal Alyssa's idea of Three Things Thursday for a post this week. This is my three things thursday that I have thought about this week.
One day while in class we started a discussion and used driving as a metaphor, and on my drive home I thought through it even more. I really like driving; seriously. I love to drive ridiculously long distances, often for no reason. Youth often ask me for drives home, or to pick them up at various locations, and they know that most often (although not always), I will say yes. Now, it seems that I am super generous and gracious, but really, I just love driving.
Now, I have a small, zippy car. Its 5-speed, so if I want, I can have a pretty quick accleration (relative to 1995...). Some people say I drive a little aggressively, but that's ok. Thinking about this though led me to my very own Three Things Thursday. So, without any more delay, here are the three things I learned about youth ministry while driving on the 401 late one Wednesday night after my Youth at Risk Class.
1) You can only drive as fast as the person in front of you
In ministry, sometimes we want to push the limits and get to success as fast as possible. But as leaders its important to work as a team. If I get upset that someone on my highway is going to slow, I can't press up to their bumper to tray and pressure them. I may just risk causing them stress and making the process go even slower, or I may even rear-ending them destroying the project myself. Or in an even worse scenario, make them upset so they road rage me, slamming on the brakes, causing me to hit them and de-raling the whole project out of their rage. In ministry, you can only drive as fast as the person in front of you.
2) Fill up with gas before your empty
One thing Alyssa hates is when I procrastinate getting gas. I'm always amazed at how far my car will go when the needle is past the empty mark. Her dad once told me that it's not ideal to let the car drive with less than a quarter tank, and she has said the same thing too. So if its about the quarter mark, I usually try to fill it up, but I don't always remember.
Often times in youth ministry, we get stuck in the same situation. We know we only have a quarter tank left, but we know just how far we can go on empty, so we push it. In the end, we run out of gas, and unfortunately we don't even leave ourselves with enough momentum to get to the side of the road. This just leaves us getting rear-ended by other cars we've already passed. In ministry, always fill-up BEFORE you are on empty.
3) Plan your exits
As youth workers, one thing we are notorious for is our outlandish, over-the-top ideas that just seem impossible. Sometimes, these ideas fail. When that happens we should plan our exits. There was a day a few weeks ago, where driving down the 401, I passed by 3 accidents (a story for another Three Thing Thursday). Now, one of them I didn't see, but the other two I watched the cars collide with each other. The two that I witnessed were simply the results of someone not planning their exit. One of them, the driver was so upset yelling at the guy driving beside him that, when he realized he was missing his exit, he side-swiped another car.
Sometimes our plans fail, and when that happens we need to know how we're going to easily and gracefully exit. In my ministry, this is possibly a lesson I could have used these past four months, but I made it through. Pulling off the highway is a good opportunity to rest and refuel, and sometimes, all it takes is looping back and trying again.
Interesting blog. I drive truck for a living. Another thing I've found helpful is mirrors. Great for when backing up, and helpful when wanting to make a change, but should only be used when necessary. Another important factor is watch what others are doing; you never know where they're from or what experience they have. The key to successul driving is always be prepared, and learn every defensive method possible. (full armor of God). Most of all, keep the focus on where you are going, not on cell phones, radio changing, or others. Safe driving. God bless
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