If you’re staring at two sets of directions–one from a person and another from a GPS–which one would you choose?
Technology is the answer to everything, right? It can actually find you the answer to everything. Satellites can even tell you where you are when you are lost. But if you have the choice between listening to someone who lives where you are going or a computer that can map every square inch of where you are going, you should listen to the person who lives there. Trust me on this.
I know this is true because our CBF Missionary said, “Turn left” today when the GPS said turn right. I thought, “She must not know where we are–we must be coming out a different way because we’re supposed to turn right to get to Save-A-Lot.” After 30 minutes in the wrong direction, I realized that I could Save-A-Lot of time if I would just trust the one who knows exactly where I’m going! (Do you see where this is going?)
Take Middle Schoolers to paint or to do construction and you’ll realize there is a wrong way and a right way. Not just a wrong way and a right way to load a roller or brush or to apply the paint to a wall, but they are in the midst of trying to learn the right way to look at the world around them. They are trying to learn the right way treat each other. And they are trying to learn the right way to see themselves and their potential in God’s Kingdom.
Sometimes they learn this by doing it the wrong way first. Paint splatters all over the walls, themselves, and their friends. It’s messy, it leaves stains, and usually needs some clean up. And the canvas of life where they are learning to paint is much the same: it can be messy, leave stains, wear you out, and require clean up as they interact with each other and their world.
So we put them in a safe place, we put out some tarps, we hand them brushes, and we let them learn. And like all of us, sometimes they learn the wrong way and sometimes they learn the right way. Either way, we try not to mind the mess because we are developing artists who will add color and creativity and who will help make God’s world a more beautiful place.