Burdens are strange. I suppose it’s because burdens can be either a good thing or bad thing. On the negative side, they can be the result of our own mistakes and foibles in life and can result in us lugging around a lot of extra weight. Or, they can be the result of the things we suffer like sickness and misfortune and can deprive us of the joys of life. On the positive side, a God-given burden can be the driving force that sustains us through the challenges of kingdom work. It can be the propeller that drives us against the current of opposition. It can be the glimmer of hope that causes us to labor where others have given up. It can be that extra bit of inspiration to stay up late hours tweeking that sermon because somewhere deep down we hope to make in difference in somebody’s life.
Our desire, from even before we arrived in
When we arrived at the seminar, I was quite amazed to find that the vast majority of the attendees – over 90% were in their teens or late 20’s. I’m not sure how to describe what happened during this four day gathering, but I’ll do my best. First of all, what I discovered, was that these young people were not the shallow, and petty and weird (ok… they were a little weird) creatures from outer space that I had expected them to be. What I found instead, was that they are caring, and compassionate, more transparent than most adults I know – and more importantly deeply hungry for a real experience with God! And over the course of this seminar as we discussed some of life’s issues and played a few silly games (that incidentally related back to the life issues discussions) I came to realize how deeply wounded many of these young people are. When one young man stood to give a testimony about how he had rejected his stepfather, another young man at my table commented that at least he had a father. Later during a talent show, a young 16 year old girl stood up, and shared how she had been raped when she was six years old and how as a result she had become very promiscuous as a young teenager. But, she went on to tell how she had discovered the love of Christ and how God had begun to heal and restore her life.