Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Keep the nail driven

This entry is just as much for me as you. 

This is the time of year when Leaders report they aren't returning for another year of scouts. They are done. They are moving on to other things. They are sick of dealing with the parents. They are tired of dealing with disrespectful little girls. They need a little time away, but they plan to return. I can't say I blame them. Believe me, I've been there. 

But, I also have this personality flaw which compels me to be invested in tomorrow's youth. I'm not saying that makes me a better person. I'm just saying that is where I am right now with it all. It probably is a derivative of a former role as a youth minister. I left that role because of a failed marriage and 25 young people lost someone that truly did and does love them dearly. I think about each of them just about every day and wonder what might have been. I wonder if my short presence in their lives made a difference. I wonder if my leaving made a bigger impression than anything I did. I'm still friends with a few on Facebook and truly rejoice with them and the lives they have built. 

I'd like to share with you a story of a nail and wooden post. This is my rendition of a sermon I heard, applied to every day life. I think about this quite often, especially when I'm struggling to continue on.

Have you ever driven a nail into a wooden post? The nail penetrates into the wood and grabs hold. You can hang a lot of weight on it and it doesn't budge. It supports a lot more weight than it weighs, too. That nail represents you. All the weight on the nail are the people counting on you to support them. To hold firm and be there. 

Now, envision yourself pulling that nail from the wooden post and lying it down. Everything that was being supported also falls. Yes, they can find another nail. But, it's a struggle to find a good solid nail to hang from. The post is left with a hole. It will forever be affected by your nail. Sure, you can find another nail to fill the hole, but the post remembers your nail. 

After a while, you pick up your nail and push it back in to the same hole. You return to that former passion and life. You may or may not get the same things to hang from it, but your nail in the same hole will never be able to hold as much weight. It just isn't as strong. It will never support as much as when you drove it in to the post the first time. 

This seems pretty sad, doesn't it? It makes you think why even try to return to something you care about, if it will never be the same. We all walk away from things. We all need a break. When we return, we can't just assume going back to the same place will give us the same results (or even worse, it will and we'll soon want to leave again). If this is you and you want to come back.. pick up your hammer and drive that nail a little deeper into the post.  Find a way to become excited and passionate again. Think long and hard about what makes you happy and where you feel you are the best fit. There are so many ways to be involved. 

Yes, it would be great if we could all drive our nail and leave it there. Never to remove it. But, the fact is those permanent nails are very rare to find. It takes a special nail to be able to remain driven in the post. They are amazing and should be celebrated. 

The past month has been very trying for me. I've considered changing things up and giving things up. But, when it comes to scouts... I remember a conversation I had with my Dad about a year ago in a hospital room. He told me he admired me. He admired how I gave my time and love to help other people's kids. He said he was sure it was hard and was sure I was putting a lot of my own financial support into it. But, he told me he knew I was making a difference. I hope I am. I was blessed with great parents and I realize not every child has that blessing. So, if all my time and energy are given to provide a good experience for one... it's worth it. 

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