Everything Else is Utterly Meaningless

BY 30 HOUR FAMINE TEAM

By Keely DeBoever

I recently had a conversation with a friend about the ONE THING we need to be sharing on repeat with our students and the church: “YOU ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD AND YOU HAVE A PURPOSE THAT GOD IS CALLING YOU TO LIVE INTO.” It was such an encouraging conversation and one that I needed to hear. She reminded me to find my mantra; those words that speak into the life of my students each time we meet together, that will stick with them far longer than any lesson or Bible Study I ever do.

The conversation began with me lamenting over that moment when you think you’ve really hooked them and you’re just about to reel them in – then a hand shoots up and your heart swells as you anticipate the depth and understanding that your student is about to articulate, only to be met with, “Can I go to the bathroom?” WIND…OUT…OF…SAILS. We spent the next hour or so messaging each other quippy responses: 

“Can I go to the bathroom?” “Yes, but only if you remember while you’re in there how lavishly you are loved and accepted.” 

“Can I go to the bathroom?” “Yes, but only if you’re thinking the whole time about how perfectly and purposefully you were created to bring joy and life to the world with your unique awesomeness.”

By the end of the conversation I was laughing at my own hubris and already planning how to incorporate that message (legitimately) into the next lesson I had planned. I was instantly reminded of the words in Ecclesiastes 1, “Everything is meaningless.” Ha! That sounds like a terrifying realization, but it was actually an encouraging one. Thank GOD that I am not the one responsible for the salvation of my students. Thank GOD that I am not flailing alone in the wilderness with no one to help. Thank GOD for speaking into the lives of my students through so much more than my words, even if I think the words I happen to be speaking are overwhelmingly profound and enlightening. Thank GOD for friends in my life who remind me that without God and the simple reminders of his goodness every day, we’d all be lost; and everything really would be meaningless.

When working with students, what we say during a lesson is far less important than what we are saying in between. I have always felt that I had a knack for connecting with students, but I am also always overly critical of myself when a lesson or program doesn’t go exactly the way I planned. I am learning slowly but surely to rely on God and not on my own understandings; but it is taking a little longer than I had hoped. Most of the things that we focus so intently on matter very little in the end. This conversation did more than remind me of what we should be doing better as the church: it reminded me that I, too, AM CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD AND I HAVE A PURPOSE THAT GOD IS CALLING ME TO LIVE INTO. Failure and bruised egos are a part of life, but they can never change this truth and will never make our value any less. Man, if I can help my students understand that kind of truth through my actions and my words, I think everything else really would be meaningless…and I could be okay with that!