Saran-Wrap is my Love Language
Last week I was pranked by my High School Youth.
The week before I found myself in the midst of a group text message (which is apparently the way to communicate nowadays — I’m still learning things) establishing “PRANK WARS 2K15” for those brave enough to participate.
It didn’t really bother me. “No bodily or property damage,” I texted, “and if you do the prank you have to be willing to clean it up.” Those were my only two rules. I figured, hey, I can be the cool Youth Leader!
So then last Tuesday I walked up the stairs to my office to find post-it notes plastered everywhere, all of my furniture bound together in the throes of saran-wrap, and an inflatable whale (whose name is apparently Jesús).
Now, I will admit that I really didn’t think they were going to get me. I figured I was going to be kind of the aloof, cool, moderating, adult supervisor in this situation. I was gonna make sure nobody got hurt and everybody was still going to be friends after all was said and done.
But they involved me in their war. They made me a combatant. And in doing so, they awoke a sleeping giant. I am currently planning my great and wonderful revenge upon them.
But that’s not what this post is about. (After all, I’m hoping they’ll read it, and I don’t want to give anything away….)
This post, rather, is about the feeling I got when I walked up those stairs and surveyed my now colorful, plastic-wrapped office.
I felt, “Hah. This is where I’m supposed to be.”
Longtime readers will remember my struggles with waiting, anxiety about where I was going to end up, frustration with not getting answers right away. Some of these were documented, and others were implied by a long silence between blog posts, in an effort to not sound too whiny on the internet.
The last 5 months in this new place have put to rest any anxious feelings I may have once had. The members of this congregation have welcomed my wife and I with open arms, and we definitely feel at home here. We’ve made a great many new friends and feel as though we are a part of a great worshiping community. Yes, we still miss our old friends and places we’ve lived, and yes it is difficult to be far away from family for too long. But ultimately, when I think about this church and this place that we now find ourselves in, I find that we belong here.
Belonging is an interesting thing. It’s something that my generation (the milennials, a word I’m real tired of hearing but applies to me so I can’t ignore it) craves. We find ourselves needing to be a part of a group, a cause, an organization — somewhere that we get to contribute and be a valued member.
I am certain that this is not just limited to my generation — everybody feels like they want to belong somewhere. It’s part of our makeup — heck, God said it was “not good” when Adam was all by himself. We need relationships, we need to belong somewhere.
This is a theme that I’m really interested in exploring, and I’ve picked up a book that deals with this topic with the intention of reading it and responding to it. So consider this post “Part 1.”
I am really glad that God has led me and my wife to this place. The transition hasn’t been perfect — my wife still is figuring out exactly where she can plug in — but I think that’s more the fault of an imperfect life and learning how to adult moreso than it is the fault of the place. Our Creator knew that this would be a wonderful place for us, filled with wonderful people and opportunities for us to grow.
I could have been really upset that I had to spend a little bit of extra time unwrapping my computer so I could actually do work that day. But instead, I was pretty happy, because for the youth to take the time to do all that to my office, they must think I belong here too.