Helping Me Find God - A Youth Sermon
...that’s the theme for the 2012 – 2013 program year for Westminster youth in grades 7 – 12 and for the amazing Youth Sunday held on February 24, 2013. In addition to Youth Sunday, activities throughout the year, including the Dinner Theatre productions and a Sunday night speaker series, have centered around this theme.
Youth Sunday featured sermons by WPC high school seniors Callie B., Marisa K., Ryan K., Shelly S., and Meredith H. (pictured right). Each person’s message was created individually, with a little editing assistance from Church Educator Susan Moseley. All five seniors have been active in 180° since middle school. How blessed we are to witness God’s presence in such amazing youth and their leaders!
Sermon by 180° Senior Callie B.
I remember, as a child, that I did not like broccoli. I love it now, but back then, I couldn’t stand within 10 feet of it. In fact, I was so afraid to even look at the green monstrosity of a food that I actually begged, cried, and pleaded to my mom to withdraw me from my current preschool, and enroll me in another, all because Wednesday lunch had broccoli as a side choice. At the time, it seemed so important for me to focus on my disgust for broccoli. I put so much time and energy into this dilemma, when the simple solution would have just been to ignore the broccoli. As I have grown up, I’ve actually become quite fond of the vegetable. It’s probably now my favorite one. Although it did take some growing up for me, eventually I was able to accept broccoli for what it is, and I actually taught myself to appreciate it.
Now, most people may find it hard to believe that we find God in the most obscure of places, including our childhood vegetable anxieties, but not me. This whole time, God has been teaching me life lessons through something that I could relate to. At first, this idea that broccoli had radically changed my outlook on life was hard to grasp, but it soon became a very clear metaphor for me. As I grew up and decided I wanted broccoli to be a part of my life, I was able to accept broccoli for the way it is, and actually became friends with it.
I remember growing up and being a very blunt child. I told it like it was, and didn’t really think about the consequences of my loud mouth. I was never grounded for my actions, but I was unceasingly reminded on how I should start thinking about the feelings of others and blah, blah, blah. At first, I didn’t care how others felt, but I eventually realized that I did not want to be that kind of person. I wanted to be the friend you could confide in, not the one you’re afraid to tell your troubles to because you’re afraid of the way she ridiculed you. Although it did take some multiple exhausting efforts and hours of meditation and journaling with my mom, God was able to show the way of being a true, genuine person who others wanted to be around. Although I’m not perfect, and I’m still learning how to curb my bluntness, the change I went through was one I will be forever grateful for.
Going through life at Westminster has given me opportunities to learn about my faith, and has helped me to understand the faith of others. My experiences in church have taught me how important diversity is, and how meaningful my church family can be. It’s a group of people like no other, and one that I know will always be here to support me through the rest of my life’s journeys. As I venture into my future, the anticipated mission trip to Guatemala, my ride through college, and the opportunities and experiences on the horizon after my college experience, I am ever so grateful for the help Westminster has provided me for helping me find God in my life.
I know that although I have changed a lot since those “broccoli protest” days, my growing up and changing with God will never end. Without God’s presence on a daily basis showing me the lights of the world, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. God has helped me to realize my true life’s passions, to identify my inner beauties, and to help me gain a confidence that I never thought I had inside of me. I know I haven’t stopped radically changing, I know I never will, and I know I don’t want to. Do you?