You know, I’ve learned in almost a decade of working with teenagers to expect the unexpected. They will surprise you. Sometimes this is in a negative way. I gave students a videotaped playing test in my first year as a band director. I didn’t expect to be mooned. That, by they way, was a negative! They can also do some good unexpected things. The first missions trip I took with my youth was an example of what a bunch of teenagers can do when they allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives. It was just a week-long trip, of the whopping distance of 15 miles away (maybe) from the church. Still, they opened up and let God in. It was amazing.
Then there’s what happened a couple of days ago. It was the “no man’s land” of unexpected. I was teaching a lesson on how the devil, temptation, and the sins we commit can have the effect of sneaking up on us. 1 Peter 5:8 was one of the Scriptures that I referenced… the devil is likened to a lion, lurking behind the tall grass just waiting to pounce. Life as we all know it was still normal at this point. I used Hebrews 12:1, and pointed out particularly that we get entangled in our sins. This is where normal went bye-bye. We had a kid burst out his own illustration that went a little something like this, “Oooh! That’s like the time I was at the beach and seaweed got into my swimming trunks and into my butt-crack!”
Just for the record, I’m not a big proponent of the use of the word “butt-crack” in most social situations. A youth group Bible study would fall into that category. This, however, is an exception to that rule. Laughter ensued. Much, much laughter. And, as odd as this might sound, there is much truth to this as well. We don’t expect to end up where we do at the front end of our encounters with sin. If it were waving a big sign that read: “Hey I’m the wrong thing to do… you’ll mess your life up with me!” then it’s safe to say we’d probably ignore it. The problem is, we either don’t see it coming or worse, see it but is so disguised and alluring that we embark down a wrong path. It almost always ends up that, once we’re so far down that path we get tangled up in the weeds and thorns that have choked out the right direction. Or, it’s like the seaweed that… well, you get the idea.
Until next time!