Friday, July 6, 2012

On A Mission From God: Now With 100% More Alien Squirrels

               The final part of my recap of the weeklong mission trip is a deep exploration of just how a group of aliens could control the mind of a bunch of squirrels to build an unholy army in their quest for world domination. The twist: Elvis Presley is alive and in charge of the whole thing. That sound is all of your minds being blown by this revelation.

                Naw, I just felt that the comedy has been lacking from these posts as I have been discussing some pretty heavy stuff.

                These trips are always weird for me. I always volunteer to go, mainly because I enjoy hanging out with these kids for the week. But inevitably, about two weeks before the trip I panic because I honestly don’t believe that I’m going to be able to help, because there is an element that I don’t think I can provide to the kids (More on that in a moment), and because it’s a week where my schedule is more rigidly controlled than something that is extremely rigidly controlled. (All my metaphors were too offensive. Feel free to make up your own in the comments.)

                The element I don’t think I provide well to the kids (we’re getting heavy again) is the fact that… I don’t really wear my religion on my sleeve. Maybe it’s because I’m still figuring things out myself, but I just don’t believe that we are meant to run around screaming about our faith until we get it worked out. I believe that actions (like not throwing a can of corn at a person who is telling you all about how Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future didn’t involve a President born in Kenya for the ninth time that day) are more important than words. And I don’t feel that we get that very much at these events. I think sometimes it becomes a race to wear that “John 3:16” shirt, but the focus isn’t as much on working hard and showing your faith that way. I sometimes feel that we can discuss God and His actions without going deeply into the Bible. I think that it’s more important to ACT like a good person than it is to TALK about being a good person. I can talk about anything.

                The kids work hard at these events. But I often feel that the reward sometimes is more church, more discussion of acting like a good person which doesn’t give as much incentive to work harder.  That’s the part I’ve always found it hard to buy into. Oh, I’m always enthusiastic, don’t get me wrong. Except for one point when I twisted my knee, then I was decidedly less enthusiastic about things. (Except ice).

                The thing is, that at the end of the day, I still want to go back. I like helping people. I want to do more with helping people. I will help out with these until they tell me to stop helping out. (Or until that Elvis-Squirrel-Alien thing happens. It’s real, people.) And I will continue to give these kids 100%. It’s just… not always easy? I guess that’s the right phrasing for it. It’s not always easy when I see other groups getting a lot out of it, and me, sitting there hoping I’m giving these kids what they want and what they need from this experience.

                Of course, I could always go back to saving the world from the evil squirrel invasion.

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