She often said in her most irritated and aggravated voice, “You are always burning the candle at both ends.”   This is the one accusation that my mother leveled at me from the time that I was a child until she had a stroke and could not longer speak.  For years I had no idea what she meant, except that I knew that she hated that I would study for tests while washing dishes and read while eating.  I knew that she didn’t like that I had fifteen projects going at the same time.  I would close the door of my bedroom so she couldn’t see that I often talked on the phone arranging school club meetings while doing my typing homework.

I’ve always been the kind of person who had more interests than good sense.  I wanted to taste and feel everything, especially about the Lord.  And my curiosity seemed to know no bounds.  There were always several things which captured my imagination, however.  Writing, music, and public speaking imprisoned me as a child and I’ve been hooked ever since.

In fact, most of my lifetime the activities that most interested me have revolved around these three passions.  I often muse that God built me specifically to do ministry within the mentally challenged community.  I greatly enjoy all of the things that specialized ministry demands.   Sometimes I wonder what the past 20 years would have been like if I had not found this wonderful nitch.  I also pray often for the people who will serve in the next generation. 

Too often when Christian young people think about working within the mentally challenged community, their thoughts go to teaching school.  Teaching is important; but there are great restrictions on how much and what can be said in the classroom about Christian faith and I don’t believe that it will get better in the near future.  However, no government entity has restricted what is said within the walls of the church structure.  Personal religious freedom is not dead.

I believe that the prayer of all people serving within our community must be for the future generations.  Who will replace us?  There are some exciting things happening in other places, powered by young men and women with a passion for ministry.  We need to pray for them and hold up their arms as they struggle to bring new life to a people who need to hear the gospel of Jesus.

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