January and February can be dreary. Certainly, the last week of rain made many of us tired and longing to see the sun. Although it really is all in how we look at it, to see opportunity where there is despair, light where there is darkness, or abundance where there is drought. A rainy day as an opportunity to watch a movie with my daughter or cook a meal together. A bitterly cold day as a chance to build a fire and roast marshmallows or make hot chocolate.
So, in that same spirit, I have an inspiring story to tell. Sunday mornings are usually very busy for me, making sure Sunday School classes have all they need, copies, snacks, or sometimes I fill in for a teacher. I love coordinating and constantly moving and doing different things, so it suits me. However, on Sunday, I had the rare opportunity to teach the youth Sunday School. Our wonderful Julia Lloyd always has this honor and does it so beautifully and consistently I never have to worry. It is in the youth room apart from all the other children’s classes, so it’s a blessing to know it is under control. However, this past Sunday, Julia was away, and I taught. Ordinarily, this would scare me a little, but we kept it simple, taking some time to visit and laugh and walked through a discussion on Matthew 5:1-12. We had 8 youth on Sunday, who each read a verse, and then we took each one by one and talked about what each meant. The conversation was wonderful and enlightened. So many of them shared and we all learned things not only about the scripture, but also about how we all can think differently and inspire each other.
This space, that only four years ago was goldenrod yellow with scrap furniture thrown in, was definitely not inviting and we didn’t even have youth Sunday school, well middle, but no high school. Needless to say, as I sat there in the beautifully renovated youth space surrounded by youth and enjoying the conversation so much we ran over time, I was elated inside as to how far we have come. One youth at the end even practiced a presentation she had at school that week.
Much like in Matthew 5:1-12, which we compared to a bit of a “pep talk”, we should “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” or rather in our youth room! My heart is full of gratitude and thankfulness for the church that enabled us to provide and renovate the space, to the teachers that inspire and support our programs, and the families that share their children with us.