It was the “duh” what got me.

Me: I’m not really a counselor. I’m a youth-minister-disguised-as-a-counselor… what you’re asking me to to do is exactly what I’ve been doing all these years… which is youth ministry. I suspect you knew that would happen from the beginning.

Him: … duh.

Yea. Duh. How could I have been so clueless?

I mean I wasn’t clueless. I knew what all this would be about. I knew You were calling me to work with kids just in a different setting. But when the whole youth ministry idea reincarnated for school, it struck me as profound. In a word, clueless.

What next?

And now I wonder what else I have missed. How many more times will You need to knock me upside the head? When will I finally get it?

Today, after chatting with another handful of students, I felt utterly and completely powerless. Totally. Helpless.

I ask You: What is my purpose for being here? I can’t fix anything. I’m not even sure I have anything to offer… except maybe an open ear and a sense of caring. Is that enough?

On our evening walk, I thought silently:

Maybe I’m not supposed to fix anyone or anything.
Maybe I’m supposed to change the system.

Even harder. Systemic change. Adaptive change. Bigger / more profound / harder than technical change. Duh.

I am powerless to affect real change in these kids’ lives… and yet, every one of them is precious and valuable and needs whatever attention I can give. Maybe to show that someone cares enough to ask the question “How can I help?” is enough. Maybe that’s enough. I don’t know. I can only step into another day and see what comes.

The further into the Mystery You pull me, the more complex become my questions… and the more enigmatic become Your answers. So… constantly I wrestle with a new meaning and purpose.

What next?


About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

2 responses »

  1. dan mulhall says:

    Duh is right.
    I just finished reading How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. Also watch YouTube videos of Angela Duckworth. Both appropriate for your transformed ministry.

    Also, why the need to change the system? Better I think to find ways to love and empower the kids.

    Prayers–and Good Luck (God be with you)

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