14.6.09

heres to rick

last week i had the privilege of meeting a wise man. when he first walked into the quaint, mountain-side, building that we were using for our youth minister registration i wrote him off as the stereotypical youth minister, hell-bent on making students like him regardless of his age. he wore a baggy baseball jersey, tucked in, with 1980's length khaki shorts, long socks and sneakers. his face showed his age in wrinkles and colorless beard. part of his mouth hung slightly lower than the other side, possibly a health issue in his past was to blame.
he, like many who have some before him that i have, so judgingly, lumped into a stereotype, made his way in to the building greeting and talking with everyone in sight. as he approached me he made eye contact and began to introduce himself rather matter-of-factly.
his voice didnt seem to match his rough and worn body. it was meeker than i would have guessed. it was difficult to distinguish his accent, but it was clearly different. i now believe it was somewhere in between an accent and a speak impediment, likely in related to the possible health problem i alluded to before.
we exchanged names and hometowns as i escorted him in to be registered. aztec, nm was his home and has been for some time now. i recognized he didnt fully fit my initial analysis, but i wasnt too impressed until the following night.
every night of camp at 6 oclock we host a youth ministers meeting. on this night the director was asking the ministers what they wanted to see God do that week. there was an array of answers but only one stood out to me. not that others didnt seem important to me, or that im looking to be impressed by the prayers of men, but this mans answer, to me, showed wisdom.
he was looking for God to grow him. in a room full of extreme unselfishness, he was asking God to move in his life. he shared that he had been doing youth ministry since 1983 and one thing he had learned was that in order for God to move in the lives of his students, God had to be working in his own life. it was simple, profound, and true to my experiences.
i had other opportunities to speak with him throughout the week; he was nothing but encouraging. i guess i just dont want to forget that experience, so im making this record of it. heres to rick the youth minister.

ryan

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