Last night we finally got around to having our senior dinner. A new school year has already started but it was time to celebrate with our seniors from last year. It was a great opportunity to sit around with old students and leaders and enjoy a meal together.
Since I am their youth pastor, some of our conversation touched on nerdy topics:
What is a TIE Bomber and why did I name my new car that?
How awesome was Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and why aren’t we playing that over Xbox Live?
Disney could allow Fox more time to make a Daredevil movie if Fox gives Disney the rights to Galactus and Silver Surfer.
How can I get Siri to call my mom when I tell Siri, “Call mom”?
Even if we hadn’t talked about nerdy stuff I still would have had a great time at the dinner. There were six graduated seniors sitting at the table, all of whom I’ve known since they were freshmen. God blessed me with four years to invest in their lives and now I pray that investment will produce fruit.
Because no matter how hard I try and no matter how much I love our students, I can’t produce fruit in their lives – only God can do that.
God produces the fruit; we simply work the soil.
I love that Jesus addresses this through a parable found in Mark 4.
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
The farmer does the work of cultivating and preparing the soil but God is the one who makes the seed grow. I along with our other leaders did the work of cultivating and preparing our students but God is the one who will produce fruit in their lives. We do the work of cultivating and preparing our own lives but God is the one who will produce lasting change.
Trusting in that reality takes the pressure off our shoulders to produce fruit and change. It gives us the appropriate responsibility of cultivating and preparing while also giving us the freedom to let God be God.
It also gives us the freedom to talk about the really important things like TIE Bombers and Siri.
What helps you cultivate and prepare your life for God’s transforming work?