It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

11 August 2011

WORDS Affect Identity – pt. 1

12:01 AM Posted by steve flores No comments
When I was 12 years old, I’m sure I was annoying.  I was very insecure and constantly looking for attention.  I know I did wild things to be noticed, because I just wanted to be part of the cool group, part of the popular crowd – of which I was neither.  When I became a junior high pastor in 2000, I realized how annoying I must have been when my own junior highers did some of the things I used to do in 1989.  When I wasn’t expecting it, a junior higher jumped on my back—piggy-back style.  He nearly crushed every one of my vertebrae!  I believe I have back problems from those experiences. 

One time, a sixth-grade girl who just moved up into student ministry decided to come out to eat with us on a Sunday night after church.  This was the night I received the oddest pat on the back in my life and, to make the evening more interesting, I wore my brand new dress shirt.  In an effort to be noticed, this young, attention-starved, girl walked up behind me and began patting my back, on the right shoulder blade, with great force.  I ignored it, as if to say, “This is not how to get my attention,” until I realized my shirt was sticking to my skin at each pat.  To my surprise, I turned around and saw this sixth grade girl with a slice of pizza in her hand and a huge grin on her face!  I looked at her in disbelief and asked, frustrated, “What are you doing?  What made you do this?”

Innocently, she responded, “I was just trying to get your attention.” 

I have been punched in the gut, more times than I can count.  I, my car, and my apartment have been written on, too.  When I walked into the Sunday School room, a student thought it would be fun to step on a ketchup packet and burst it in my direction.  My keys have been stolen, the objects in my office have been hidden, and my phone has rung in the middle of night, multiple times, that when I answered I’ve only heard giggling on the other end.  I thought my being bullied days were over.  Nope.  It’s called being a Junior High Youth Pastor.  All these events have happened, because junior high students wanted my attention.