Did I mention I was speaking to middle schoolers? YIKES!!
Now I have spent the last 15 years with kids. Talking to them, playing with them and just hanging out. I LOVE kids! I have 3 of my own. Even before I had kids I worked with kids. I led a children's ministry for 4 years. I worked in an urban school district for 5 years and then went into homes to work with special needs kids for 5 years after that. But my focus, my experience, my expertise so to speak is with 3-5 year olds. I have also logged a lot of hours with the 5-10 years olds. But middle schoolers, not so much!
I have had the chance to speak on sunday mornings half a dozen times, but that has been to adults. I know adults just about as much as I know 3-5 year olds. They are respectful, they listen when you talk, they don't laugh unless you want them to, they don't play on their phone (usually) and they are fairly easy to entertain. But middle schoolers? They intimidate me.
But I really desire to do this for God, to speak openly and publicly, to lead people to Christ. So when the youth leader asked if I would do this I jumped at the chance. And then he told me the sweet little topic I would be teaching on... The meaning of life. Seriously? Was he joking? Not so much.
Apparently they are doing a series on simple answers to the big questions in life. And no one had stepped up to do this topic yet. Really? Shocking!
The question is "What is the meaning or purpose of Life?" "Why are we here?"
It's a great question, one I'm sure kids ask. I know adults do. I know lots of adults who wonder why they are here, and what they are supposed to be doing. It's a question I've asked myself a lot in the past few years.
So what's the answer? The Westminster Catechism says "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever." That is the meaning of life. Easy enough.
But what does that really mean?
In John 17 Christ is praying to the Father and he says, "I have brought you glory by completing the work you gave me to do."
That's how we bring glory to God, by completing the work he gave us to do. Everyone, from the smallest child to the oldest adult, has something that God gave THAT person and THAT person ALONE to do. No one else can do the thing that God wants YOU to do. And you can not do the work God has already given someone else to do. You glorify God by completing the work he gave YOU to do.
So what is it God is asking you to do? What is the work he desires for you to complete?
This sunday he has given me the work of speaking to a group of middle school kids, yikes!