It's not really the end of the year for me, since I'm not really a student any more (PLTC notwithstanding.) But somehow, I still feel like I'm getting slower and slower as summer approaches. I have a lot less energy to devote to the many things going on in my life. Like fellowship - there's only a couple of weeks left, but it takes so much to plan an evening, and sometimes I don't even feel like it's worth it. Kind of a cynical view. It's definitely tough to watch as teens who used to be regulars start to drift away. I wish I could shake them and say, "Don't make this mistake ... don't leave ... you might never come back..."
We had an interesting conversation at cell group yesterday. I won't go into all the details, but one topic that arose really made me think. There's a few cliches floating around, like, God has bridged the gap and all we have to do is reach out for him ... or God has taken 999 steps and you just have to take one... you know, thoughts about faith and such. But Jason brought up a different way of looking at faith. Might we be better off giving all the glory to God, realizing that it is His grace and mercy which redeems us, and not our faith in Him that saves us... maybe it's more appropriate to say that God took all 1000 steps, and I don't deserve any of it, so that His grace is fuller and larger. Hmm, I suppose I never quite considered it in that way. But it is true - God continually reaches out for us, even when we don't reach for him. On the other hand, there's some aspect of turning ourselves onto the narrow path to follow Him too.
Well, maybe it's hard to explain. God is so unfathomable that it's very difficult to put into words how I have come to know Him and how I know that He is real and that He has saved me.
But I sure wish I could explain it better to the teens who have, consciously or not, stopped coming to church.