Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash
It started about the time I went to bed, as it usually does.
My brain decided to glom onto a problem. Now, it is a real problem: How to teach the youth of the congregation about Jesus in a way that draws them to Christ. Many of the things we’ve attempted to do – both traditional and not – simply haven’t worked well. Right now we’ve got a glut of children reaching sixth grade in the next school year, and that means it’s time to start confirmation.
And my brain decided last night was a good time to start really working on how to teach them. My preference would be to have the parents teach at home, while once a month I gather everyone to do a good review and test to make sure everyone’s actually learning everything. But if the parents aren’t teaching their kids now, how could I expect them to do it next year?
Gather all the children together once a week? Unlikely. As it is now, many of the children can’t make it to church weekly because parents or children are “too busy.”
Do I journey to all the homes once a week, as I did the year previous? Possible, but with that many children, I’d have to drop some other duty.
And my brain whirled round and round. The parents are going to be angry. They’ll say that it doesn’t matter what we teach the kids. They’ll ask why I’m changing things. Why can’t we do it the way we’ve always done it? Why do we need to teach them anything at all?
I want you to understand: The problem my brain decided to pick at is a valid problem to consider. The goal is a good one: How to help our children grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
The problem was that my brain would not let go of the problem. I could not release the jaws of my mind to allow me to sleep, to rest. No, there was no rest at all. And the imagined scenarios got more and more outlandish, and all of them ended with the church bursting into flames one way or another. And my stress level kept on going up and up.
This is a bad sign. It’s the kind of thing my depression does when it’s deciding to bodyslam me. (more…)