There are a few reasons why I really like being an Edge Core Member. One of them being, I have finally found a direct answer to my prayers for an increase in humility. Seriously, if you ever want a little dose of being grounded from your self proclaimed coolness, just try to talk to a middle school youth you have never met before. If your experience is anything like mine, it usually goes something like this.
“Hi, welcome to Edge” Middle school girl looks up at me from her phone like I am some kind of crazy person.
“Hi.” She quickly looks back to her phone so as to avoid the dreaded eye contact with the weird adult who just came up and said hi.
“What is your name?” I asked, and she looked at me with eyes that said, okay talking to me once was fine, but now you are pushing it weirdo.
“Carly.” Was all she said before she saw a friend across the room and quickly walked away, leaving me standing there alone feeling oh so awkward.
Then we all know what comes next when you are a dedicated Core Member; you get to go try to talk to more youth! I was hopeful that this time it would be better. I was feeling a “go big or go home” mentality of awkwardness, so I walked up to a group of five boys. They were a little more forgiving than dear Carly, but just could not help themselves and their craziness. I at least got out all their names before they had to have their contest of who could walk around the room the fastest. And once again my ego was left high and dry as I was left alone in the middle of the room.
So after my first night of the semester at Edge I can confidently say that I learned three important things about ministry and myself. First of all, I am not as cool as I once thought I was (at least amongst middle schoolers), the parenthetical probably just defeated my lesson in humility, dang it. But in all reality I did not join Core because I needed self-affirmation or approval of a 13-year-old. So no matter how painfully awkward most of my encounters will probably be, I will keep on entering into them because that is why I am there. I am there to talk to and reach out to these youth so that one day when I have something important to tell them, they will listen to me and believe me because I have shown them that I care. Also, lets be honest, it would not hurt to help some of them with their social skills.
Second, while the middle school youth will continue to humble me no matter how hard I try to pretend like they don’t, I have realized the importance of having self-confidence. I am not talking about being egotistical, but truly having a healthy self-confidence that shows the youth that you are comfortable in who you are and what you are doing. They will be much more comfortable being themselves if they see that you are comfortable being yourself.
Third, toothpaste can be a superhero. Seriously one girl who was not paying attention and a little confused said that toothpaste was her favorite superhero. Don’t really know where that came from, but hey Toothpaste: fighting cavities since 1873! Yeah that could work.