I remember being at the National Youth Workers Convention many years ago. Youth Specialties produced a short affirming film for all the youth workers at this event – and really it was quite simple. They had authors, performers, and speakers say one line over and over again, “We know why you do this.” I sat there in my seat among thousands of youth workers and just wept.
This past Thursday night was Julie Andrews’ birthday and to celebrate her, my family and I watched the movie, The Sound of Music. In this film, if you really boil it down, Julie Andrews basically plays the role of a youth worker. She listens, engages, asks thoughtful questions, plays, sings, and invests her life into some amazing but love-starved kids. And there I was, sitting on the couch watching her ride bikes in the mountains of Austria with these students, and I started to cry. Not over the top balling, but It really surprised me, especially since that scene was just a fun little happy scene.
I have the privilege of speaking to youth workers across the country. I look at these heroes of youth culture and I know personally why they all do what they do. I know why they do this. I get it. I understand this calling and I’m blown away by what God calls us to.
My prayer is that you are reminded this day why you do this. That God somehow placed this overwhelming passion in you to reach , to care for, to love and listen to and journey with those amazing students around you. What a divine calling!!!