The Loops of Life In Ministry (OYPO – Vol. 53)

My Apple Watch buzzes at the end of a long day: “Congratulations! You closed your loop!” I feel like I ran a marathon and all I did was stand up once per hour.

But the loop is closed, and that’s all that matters.

Life is a series of loops—opening new ones and closing old ones. Sometimes a loop is a new project that takes a day, a week, or 100 years to close. Sometimes a loop is a person—a friendship you are trying to make or a child you are trying to raise.

A loop in your life might be a season, like it is for me and my wife. One loop is closing as we near the end of youth ministry, but another loop is opening as we head into the next season. Several more loops, actually. I’ve never worked with a youth pastor before. I’ve never worked with singles before. New loops.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting, lately. Some of our loops ended up like a preschooler’s drawings… scribbles. We started one thing and it went a completely different direction. There are some things I wish had not happened, but the grace of God is like a big eraser or a fresh piece of paper.

Some of our loops ended up like a kindergartener’s circles… not quite closed. And much bigger than the space allotted. I have more open loops than I should, and I’ve let down a lot of people by not finishing what I started or following through with what I promised.

Some of our loops ended up like an artist’s sketch… over, and over, and over, and over on the same loop. I guess my personal life is about learning some of the same lessons repeatedly, and teaching the same lessons repeatedly, too.

Some of our loops are gratifying circles. Sometimes you draw a circle and go, “Ah. Now that’s a fine-looking circle!” We are driving out to Oklahoma to see friends. The phase of life when we were in Stillwater was a two-year loop that continues to be a source of “Ah! That was a fine, fine time to be alive.”

We started some overlapping loops with some Jr. Highers and High Schoolers, and we’re heading out to their Bible college graduations. A couple of those loops looped each other in marriage last year! Now that’s an “Ah!” moment! It’s refreshing. It’s gratifying. It’s the perfect close to a beautiful loop.

And I guess that’s what it’s all about. I love living long enough to see the close of some of those loops, and it makes me excited about where these next loops will take us.

We are all drawing and being drawn. How are your loops?

The OYPO Series (One Youth Pastor’s Opinion) is a serious note sent to our church parents each week. It accompanies the weekly posts of entertaining pictures and videos, found here: [FUNNIES]