An Invitation to Holy Friendship

By Paul Cizek, Youth Minister

I’d like you to tell me a story.  Tell me a story about how you became who you are today.  What were you like before?  What were the events that impacted you?  Who has been an important person in your life?  What big decisions did you make?  And, where was God in all this?

Risk telling me a true story.  Don’t just tell me a story that you think I want to hear.  Maybe something seems too big to share.  You don’t have to share everything.  Maybe nothing seems big enough to share.  But I want to hear about all the ordinary things too.  And, I realize this is hard because your peers are listening.  But risk telling a story about you that’s true.

There’s no measure of right or wrong here.  Sometimes we tell stories about how God drew near to us or we started to hear God’s call to us.  Sometimes we tell stories about how God seemed silent or distant, or how we wandered from God.  Sometimes our lives seem like a pendulum, swinging between faithfulness and unfaithfulness, mindfulness and forgetfulness, spiritual fervor and dryness, attentiveness and apathy.  And, how daunting to try to say how God might have been at work in all this!  But don’t be afraid: there’s no right or wrong hear.  Truthfulness is what’s valued.

Is this starting to make sense?  Could you do this?  Are you nervous?

We’ll go first, your mentors and I, to show you how.  We’ll do our best to tell you stories that are true, and stories that open up ourselves to you.  We’ll do our best to speak about God and our lives – to share our life stories with you.

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