Most of you who read this blog are probably at CHIC this week. I don’t know about you, but this morning I feel totally exhausted and drained of energy. I’m sure many of you are feeling the same. But it’s worth the lack of sleep to look around Mainstage, for instance, and see all of the kids rocking out to Skillet, or lifting their hands in worship with the CHIC band — everyone having an amazing time and a significant experience in their walk with God.
Being a counselor at an event like this is such a privilege. For me, I have the chance to get to know three kids in our youth group, and I’m loving it! As counselors we get to see kids who come away from Mainstage each night truly wanting to go deeper in their relationship with God. They are being challenged, and inspired, and given hope. But being a counselor can also be a lot of hard work. There are those of you who are not getting the respect you deserve. Perhaps someone in your group is frustrating you with their lack of interest in what’s happening here. Maybe there’s someone in your group who’s just downright annoying.
At this point in the week when we’re all exhausted it can be easy to let these annoyances and frustrations get the best of us.
I want to reflect a bit on the focus group I attended yesterday — the Creation experience. If you haven’t been yet, we talked about the idea of tov, which means good, beautiful, and working the way it’s supposed to. This is the word used in Genesis when God describes his creation as “good.” I wrote a more in-depth post about it on the CHIC Blog yesterday. To sum up, we need to get back to tov, and we need to be in community for this to work. So many divisions and arguments keep us from this in our day to day life. Judy Peterson co-led this group, and she noted that we are “hardwired for connection;” we need each other. We need to get past divisions and see the tov in one another, see God’s image in one another.
I want to encourage you and tell you that YOU are tov. You are good, you are beautiful, and we all have the potential to work the way we’re supposed to. You are doing fantastic work this week, and though they may not always show it, I know the students are grateful.
I also felt convicted, while listening to Judy speak, that I need to work to recognize the tov in others. When Adam saw Eve, he cried out ‘bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh!’ He saw the similarities, he saw the familiarity, he saw that she was tov. Judy encouraged us that when we have a negative thought about anyone, to hold that thought captive and say, “No! They are bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. They are good, and beautiful.” I don’t know about you, but I need to do this more often. Don’t let those thoughts run rampant. Stop them where they’re at, and remind yourself that we are all created in God’s image.
Enjoy the rest of CHIC, love on your kids, and see the tov in each of them.