note to post-teenagers

there were two of them, walking slowly up our street. they walked the way most teenagers walk—without a care, and not much purpose to their steps. i had just sat down with allison and lucy for dinner. i glanced their way through the front window beside me as they passed by our house. one of them looked up at me, but before i had a chance to nod or wave, her attention was back to her can of orange soda. so i just kept feeding lucy her peas.

not even a minute later, i looked out the front window again and noticed that nestled among my grass was a shiny can of orange soda. “are you kidding me? i was sitting right here! they saw me!” i shook my head, walked out to where the can lay and picked it up. two houses down, still walking, were the two teenage kids who used to own this can. not wanting them to get away, i yelled up at them.

“that’s alright guys, i got it!” they looked confused and weren’t quite following my twist of sarcasm and anger, so i went on. “i don’t mind picking up your junk, but i’ve got a trash can right there. feel free to use it anytime you need to. heck, this is still half full, you sure you don’t want to finish it?”

they said something that seemed apologetic, but by that time i was too caught up in the fact that i had totally turned into the guy i hated as a teenager—that guy—the one who had a grudge against anything adolescent—who stood in his front window watching you and your friends’ every moves to make sure your hockey puck didn’t dare touch his freshly edged lawn. in becoming that guy, i just doubled my chances of having a spray painted garage door the next morning.

that was a few weeks ago.

this afternoon i was up at the church setting up for tomorrow’s services. while doing so, i noticed about 8 or 9 teenagers come into the room for what seemed like no reason in particular. “goofing off,” i thought to myself, “looking for a place to kick back. must be nice.”

they ran around the room for a moment, but then i saw them start to walk toward the stage where i was…they walked slowly, curiously, with an obvious agenda (unlike the way they came into the room in the first place).

“are you leading worship tomorrow brad?” one of them asked.

befuddled (what a cool word), i said, “well, yeah, sure am.”

“do you mind, could we pray for you? we’d love to if it won’t be too much of an interruption.”

and that’s what happened. i gathered in a circle with these 9 teenagers from our student ministry, and they offered up prayers for me, for the other guys in our band, for the sermon, for the art festival currently going on. they prayed that people would experience God in ways that they wouldn’t expect. they prayed for open hearts. they prayed for a movement in our city. i was floored. in just a few moments, i felt supported, encouraged, empowered. i had a new wind in me. all because of this group of teenagers.

after the last “amen” i thanked them and told them how proud i am to know them. jokingly, i asked “this is great. could you do this every saturday?”

without any hesitation, one of them said, “well, we do. last week we prayed for the church. the week before we went downtown and prayed for the city. we meet up every saturday at 1.” they even invited me to join them next saturday. i might have to, because when i was 15, i never thought about giving up my saturday to go pray for my church and city. those guys are acting out their faith. i’m so excited that there’s a generation rising up against the expectations people like me have of them.

read more about the rebelution going on. also here from newsweek.

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~ by bradherndon on September 27, 2008.

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