This week I’m speaking on fear for our high school youth group. It is part of a series from Orange’s XP3 Students called I Wish. We have been discussing how to create space in our lives to have more “I’m glad I did” moments and less “I wish I had” moments. Obviously there is more to our lives than just those moments, but it is a great way to talk about regret in the midst of forgiveness from our loving God.
The past weeks we have talked about listening to what Jesus said, not because we are religious or because we “have to”, but because it is smart. If we follow what Jesus says in the Bible, chances are we will have more “I’m glad I did” moments. Then we talked about how having older, wiser people in our lives can help us make better decisions, when we listen to them and take to heart what they say.
With so much focus on regret I’m glad we are spending some time on fear and how we cannot allow that to motivate our decisions. Our Bible time will focus on the 12 spies Moses sends to take a look at the land God had promised them. 10 come back with horrible reports to Moses and not only that they continue to spread the fear to the people around them. But Joshua and Caleb come back with a different tune. They saw the same thing and reported back to Moses that they should go, they would be able to over take the people there and continue to move into God’s promise. Joshua and Caleb were not overly concerned with what they saw, they saw past the obstacles and wanted to move forward because they had trust in God.
This topic and talk could not have come at a better time for me! I’m part of a process at my church where we are looking at our congregation’s top faith assets as well as our lower faith assets. We are brainstorming what God is calling us to do, we are naming and claiming our strengths of worship, service and support and also naming our areas of growth, most of which surround our families.
We are brainstorming new ideas of how we can continue to connect with parents and families, so they are better able to connect with their children and youth in meaningful ways. Our discussion was filled with energy and excitement as well as questions of whether or not we could actually do some of the things we are brainstorming. As we continue through this process, I’m hopeful we will continue to see where God is leading us and not become overwhelmed with the fear of the unknown. That we will be able to lift up our concerns and help each other brainstorm ideas surrounding these to move toward a goal of engaging more families.
Change is never easy, especially when it seems too big. But that is where God seems to work within our lives, in the times we really have no idea how things will work out, God is with us. We may not feel it, we may feel lost, or betrayed, but God is there, even in the midst of our wondering. We need to be reminded of Joshua and Caleb, focusing on the promises of God and less on the obstacles surrounding the promise.