On Friday I had the opportunity to watch both Lia and Ellie perform in an musical after a week at "Spotlight" Camp.
Both Lia and Ellie had some speaking parts and both sang at the microphone by themselves. They sang and danced in many songs. It was really amazing what they can accomplish in 5 short days with these kids from 6-12 years old. While Lia looks like she is loving every minute that she is on stage, it was not so much for Ellie. She has a big smile here, AFTER the performance. She did so well with all of her songs, dances and speaking part and solos, but she was just not loving it. Ellie will be a wonderful behind the scenes person. She will be the one designing the costumes, arranging the hair and makeup, finding just the perfect accessory for the performers to wear. And mostly, she will be holding a hand of someone dealing with stage fright, she will be hugging someone else who isn't feeling well. She will be everyone's friend and will make sure that everyone has something to eat and drink. Because, well, that is just who Ellie is. Seeing just how different these two girls are, is a great reminder that there is a plan, a purpose and destiny for each of us.
Just imagine how many more worship leaders, teachers, pastors and evangelists, how many more "good samaritans", helpers, intercessors, greeters, ushers, servers we would have if we started to encourage these obvious gifts of the children around us. So often adults decide that children need to wait to "grow up" before they can use their gifts. But I think this is a mistake. Watching Lia on the stage tonight confirmed that for me.
Yes, it was a night when I felt that shift of the generations. Looking back, but also looking ahead. I love that I can get a glimpse of the amazing working of the Lord as I see the potential in each of my grandchildren. I challenge you to look around you at the children, youth and young adults you encounter. Look at the adults around you also! Look beyond their clothes or their hair style, ignore their tattoos or piercings, and see the marvelous gifts and talents that they have. Encourage them, mentor them. Give them a place and means to use those talents. You will be blessing them....but you will be blessed also!
Jesus, thank you for Fellowship of Faith and Boulder Ministry. Holy Spirit, give us all reminders to look for ways to mentor and encourage those around us. Help us to see the unique gifts and talents that you have given to each person. Keep us from trying to put others into places that just don't fit them. Jesus, help us all to know that you have a plan, a purpose and a destiny for each of us! Amen