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I have a sinking feeling that my youth minstry inspiration is disappearing. Let's just say I'm not really inspired right now. I used to have so many ideas for curricula and talks, but now Josh, Carrie, Ben and I have a retreat to plan and my mind is stuck. We'll find something, but I feel like the desire to create youth ministry stuff is dying. Or actually it is being suffocated, gasping for breath under the invisible clutches of Darth Vader. Joy...

The only thought I have so far is Perspective...but in a unique context. I was reading a story in Myles Horton's autobiography about how a mill hired 4 guys to kill him for union organizing. Horton stood in the window with a pistol and got the killers to think about which of them were going to die before they got him. He kept personalizing it until they just took off and he went on with his life.

Horton explains that this is why any gang is brave. They think about killing the other person and since they don't know if or which of them will die they don't think about it. But when it is personalized they realize how stupid it is...their plan is not as foolproof as they think. It brought up in my mind this concept of perspective. Teens often are angry and hurt each other while not thinking about what the anger is doing to them. They only care about hurting the other person...not about wether or not they will ruin their own life. I just thought it was an interesting connection.

But I'm stuck after that. Perspective is a huge topic. Anger is even huge. And I'm not an expert...but I never was before...now I'm just a defeatist along with my inexperience. What a combination. I feel like other people seem to feel. Usually I can rise above the lack of motivation and creativity of "normal" people. I always used to believe I could do anything. I still say that now, but my discourgement is taking my enthusiasm down a new dark twist. I look at my bookshelf of books on teenagers and youth ministry that used to seem so rich will possibility and I sigh. What am I doing?

It isn't even really about the retreat. The retreat will be fine. It always is and this will be my third retreat teaching and leading. I usually loe Winter Retreat. It is my favorite. But I feel dead inside. I am trying, but I am going to need the breath of God to keep my heart beating these next two weeks. Frustration has never taken this much of a toll on me and my work.

The church should be a sanctuary, but I feel safe and excited when I talk to professors about graduate school not when I am in the house of God. Potential and the future is my sanctuary. At least I can still look ahead. I still have that and God is there.

It's about the kids. It's about the kids. It's about the kids. I just need to keep telling myself that. It's about the kids.