Having begun working with teenagers, ahem, some time ago, many of them are no longer teens. (Shocking news, people get older every day, story at eleven!) I am well aware that being a small presence in these teens lives once a week and the occasional long weekend is the teeniest contribution to their lives. I am also aware that they have all gone off and done various things, from parenthood to medical school to military service to cashier to still searching for that career path and that each of these is valid and awesome and some of them have (horrors) eschewed social media so keeping up on the specifics is tough.
But this Sunday I, and others, had the amazing chance to watch one of them be ordained as a minister. As such, I got to sit in the building where I first met her, surrounded by others, some who had watched her grow up, some who knew her from college, or post-college life, or seminary. I listened to wonderful people talk about journeys, and leadership, and when sometimes someone elucidates the path you are travelling for you, and sometimes no one tells you but something inside you knows. I listened to people talk about remembering your purpose even as people try to tell you their vision for you and what you should do next.
We sang joyous songs and then we had the laying of the hands, and I came away just as filled with love and hope as I expect that our newly ordained minister was. It is not the only or even most important thing one of my former youth kids could become, but it was one that let me participate in this step in the journey, revisit all those who showed up for this special moment, and for that I am very grateful.