It's funny how God uses something that seems so trivial on the outside, like van driving, and uses it to advance His kingdom. Without understanding the culture of van driving in urban ministry, it's easy for one on the outside looking in to diminish the task as grunt work. Pick up and drop off. With the REAL work being whatever that person is being picked up and dropped off for. I beg to differ. Van driving always ends up being more than a ride.
One day it took me over an hour to find one of my younger friends house. It was late, about 8:15 on a school night, and he had been in my van for over an hour. I ended up taking him through the Burger King drive-thru to get him something to eat because I felt so terrible. We conversed back and forth about his recent football season, talked about his family, and about what he likes to do. Both of us laughing and enjoying each others company. I then proceeded to tell him that I enjoyed spending time with him and that I appreciated him as a friend. He didn't respond. A few seconds later, he slowly uttered the words, "nobody's ever told me that before.. well my Mom has, so I guess you're the second person." Van driving always ends up being more than a ride.
When I slip into the thinking that what I do on a day to day basis as n2n is small and trivial, I'm constantly reminded of how absurd that is. Am I really limiting God's ability to use anything and everything to what I think is fit for Him to use? Because let's be honest, van driving is not sexy. But then again, neither is being born in a manger, riding in on a donkey, washing feet, dying on a cross, etc.
Instances like the one above (and there are many) remind me that my work is not about driving vans or helping run youth outreach programs. My job is about providing opportunities for relationships, discipleship to take place, and for reconciliation to happen. Sometimes it takes driving a van (just about everyday) for me to be reminded of that. Maybe I've been brainwashed (nah), but van driving is what the golf course is to the business world for urban youth ministry. And you can take that to the bank.
3 days ago