First off, let me say that I believe the key to understanding the last post lies in the first line. Given those parameters, maybe the venting seems more…I dunno, understandable? But that is now the past. I don’t regret writing it. It’s a reality for others as well. I happened to catch a glimpse of it. And looking back at that moment in time, it seems to be a distant black memory. O, some of the stuff is still there. But in the glorious sunlight of fellowship with the Son, the darkness fades. The future comes quickly and right now, we have the present. So for a slightly more gentle rant, I’d like to talk about Valentines, namely the “need” for a group of single youth to have them.
This need is apparent to all youth group counselors/supervisors/sponsors or whatever name you give them. This is inherently traceable to the fact that the majority, indeed if not all of them, are married. Having been through the cycle of feelings and the accompanying butterflies that come from pleasing and being pleasant to another person (not having experienced this, I’ve heard this secondhand and am repeating it hear; this is open for correction), namely someone who enchants you, these dear people try to “help”, “guide”, “direct”, “lead”, “show” (
actually, we maybe can do w/o the last one) young people how to do just that. And in their efforts, almost as much harm can be done as good.
Some take it far out. The youth guys ask the girl they want to sup with that night, akin to a date (are you seeing a correlation here?), and then they are with that person/partner for the evening. Really now, if sponsors, which is what they are in this case, are trying to get feelings involved, what about those that feel left out, last choices, etc.? Shouldn’t they consider “that” aspect? Then they try to get formal. Listen, there is nothing that kills a good evening then people dressed up and trying to eat salad that is cut too big to be eating polite, not withstanding the visual entertainment that comes from such a dish and those attempting mastery over it in a “polite” manner.
Others take a more blasé approach to it. You come, draw a number, and find your seat. That’s more comfortable. It’s less real, granted. I won’t be pulling names out of a hat to see whom I should ask out (on 2nd thought, that idea may hold merit). But there’s less tension involved. Unless your number gets messed up and you find yourself beside people you really want to sit beside or those you don’t. In the former case, you don’t want to mess up and dump mashed potatoes on your lap (really, mashed potatoes for a Valentines Supper? People don’t go out to eat mashed potatoes in celebration of that day; they eat lobster, steak, shrimp or at Olive Gardens.). And in the latter, you’re tempted to look around and wish that you were in another seating section where the party seems to be. Either way, do ya win?
And now, a shout out to my youth group. I like and am a fan of how our youth group has done it in the past and how it’s been done, yet again, this year. That is…baby sitting. Ironic, no, for a single male of 23 to say that this is his preferred way of “holily” taking advantage of this holiday? But it’s reasonable. Lemme try to explain.
First: Let’s face it. This day is for those in love. If you are single and in a relationship, chances are you won’t be hanging out with anyone but him/her on this day, this 14th of February. If you are the odd one who does this, people will question, #1 you as a person and your sense of social awareness and #2 the level of your committedness to the relationship that you are in. And for those of you who aren’t in love and want to be, there’s always eHarmony. With enough patience though, some Mennonite computer geek will someday come up with a holier version of that matchmaking site.
Second: Just given their marital status, married people have been in love and we hope that they currently are so. Therefore I ask, should this not be a day off, or night for that matter, from parenting and the responsibilities of family and a time to enjoy the presence of the other? please bear with me, these things are mere theories in my mind, wisdom gleaned from around. And doesn’t it give greater peace of mind to the parents to know that the “baby/child sitters” are those from the local church’s youth group? Maybe I’m mistake here. I’ve never been a parent. Maybe this is cause for a even greater concern, for…,
Third:…some might see this as a great way to put in a extra youth activity, to make a party out of it. You know, let the girls take care of the children while the guys hold belching contests with the leftover Coke and play Rook. (not that that ever happens……just saying it might). This could be a possible danger but I haven’t known this to be a problem.
So there, have I convinced you of the superior way for Godly, single young people to celebrate Valentines Day? Maybe this will give courage to a young seeking soul looking to break away from the pressures associated with the dreaded Valentines suppers. Rise up, seize the day, celebrate it with a little more freedom and baby sit that child!!
Written with generous doses of sarcasm,