Every youth worker has one of those days when you feel like you are on top of the world–fresh on the trail and ready to conquer anything. This is the day we are capable, in control, and ready for whatever comes our way.
Notice we said “one” of those days. Because one is about all we get, it seems Most of the time we feel overwhelmed, lost, and completely in over our heads.
Just a few weeks before recording this episode, Mathew was literally lost in Yosemite valley while on a 5-day hike to Half Dome. Only a miraculous glimmer of his GPS signal saved he and his friend from a cold and potentially dangerous night in the California wilderness. There was a moment of panic and a sense that things were about to get real. That experience serves as the perfect analogy for what happens to us as youth workers. We are overwhelmed by the multitude of responsibilities of the calling we’ve chosen. We are burdened and overhelmed by other people’s problems that we know and bear. And every now and then we get a phone call delivering news of a tragedy that forces us into terrifying places we are not ready to go. Only the Lord can provide the signal we need to navigate our way through the darkness.
This is an honest, sometimes painful episode from two guys who still feel like we have no answers for the things we face. Even after nearly 30 years of working with teens and families, we still get overwhelmed by the weight of it all. We are continually learning that our only hope is to trust that the Lord has chosen us for this time and place.
Grab your trail mix, your compass, and enjoy Episode 29 — Lost and Overwhelmed.
If you want to hike Half Dome, stick to the plan!