This is the first morning in a few weeks where I’ve woken up and not felt like I was simultaneously being punched in the face and dragged out from under the covers against my will.
I’ve been reaaaal tired, yo.
If I didn’t work in youth ministry, I would probably need to go to the doctor and have this exhaustion examined. But as it turns out, teenagers have a pretty profound effect on ones exhaustion meter. Who knew?
In the car last week on the way down to our high school summer beach conference, Taylor Swift’s 22 came on and I proceeded to tell the kiddos that nothing made me realize I am most definitely NOT 22 anymore quite like that song. Just listening to it made me tired and want to switch to NPR.
I took a deep, exhausted sigh and looked over at the 16 and 17-year-olds in my car, windows down, singing a the the top of their lungs. We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way… it’s miserable and magical OH YEAAAAH… and I started laughing. We’re really not so different after all, even though I’ve got a decade on them and a college degree under my belt. But in that moment I remembered what it felt like to be a teenager and have your thoughts flit between whether or not it was going to rain at the beach and whether or not God was real.
There’s a lot I don’t remember about being a teenager… probably from intentional suppression or because most days were pretty ordinary. But from what I do remember, it was this scary, wonderful time where everything seemed possible and impossible at the same time. Where I worried about AP Calculus and what it meant if this man named Jesus really did die on the cross for my sins. (Mostly I thought how it probably meant I needed to be nicer to my sister and I surely needed to pay closer attention in math class.)
I saw myself in their faces that day in the car— windblown, excited, overly-caffeinated. I thought about 16-year-old Morgan and how different I am now… and how in 10 years, maybe these same kids will be driving a group of teenagers to the high school summer beach conference, praying they’ll learn a little more about Jesus and trying to remember what it was like to be young.