it was one of my first nights as a youth leader on my own. i had taken over the ministry from a couple of older folks (read: 40′s / 50′s) and was excited to finally infuse the youth with some youthfulness. being all of 24 years old with a dash of arrogance and a pinch of obnoxious, i’m talking with the group while we’re standing around eating pizza. there might have been 15 of us as my head swelled at the thought of Being In Charge while Being Young And Cool. i wanted to show off a bit and the conversation came to this:
me: well, i’m just excited about working with you guys.
student: why? what’s going to be different now?
me: well, we’re going to have a lot more fun now. i know the folks before me were kinda old and stuff and now it’ll be cool! i mean, i’m 24 years old!
student: um… i’m twelve.
my head popped. my ego deflated. my high-mindedness crashed. i had been served. by someone who was half my age and had no concept of being 24. yea, verily, this conversation HAD to happen (and thank goodness it came early).
and now i teach 5th graders who think 39 is the epitome of ancient. serves me right.