I went to my first NBA game last night, to see the Atlanta Hawks (Rise up!) play the Sacramento Kings. Greg (a Candler friend of mine, for you non-Emory people) scored some free tickets from a friend of his (thanks Matt), so we went to support A-town. Since I don't have an NBA team that I really care about, I think I'm going to adopt the Hawks. And the Braves, since I don't really have a MBL team either. I forgot my camera, so unfortunately I don't have any pictures...idiot.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun, from haranguing Ron Artest ("Ron-Ron eats babies!") to watching a young Hawks team play together(seriously, they've only got a couple of players with more than 4 years experience in the NBA). And the Hawks have no viable big man, although crowd favorite (by crowd I mean Greg and I) Zaza Pachulia was trying. I was hoping to see Artest flip out again and then we would have a riot, which would have been my first riot too. Sadly, I did not succeed in my endeavours to incite a riot. Maybe next time. I want to get tear gassed. Wait. No.
Let's see, what else interesting happened this week. Oh, Tuesday was a great day. I started it off well by actually getting up relatively early. I went to meet with the student minister, Alfred (he's not a "student," he is in charge of ministering to students) at Briarlake, the church I have been attending and hope to work with this summer and next year. The meeting went well, I think. I hope I made an accurate presentation of how much I want to work there. I really liked Alfred, he seemed very laid-back and friendly, but I could see a fire in his eyes about working with youth, which was one of the things I always look for in youth ministers. I REALLY want to work there this summer. And wouldn't you know it, they REALLY need people for this summer. Someone to help do some planning stuff, go on the many trips, help with the administrative side of things, etc. I can do all of those things. I was a business major and I've worked for 5 or 6 years in clerical-type positions: I can definitely "push paper" with the best of them.
I really and sincerely hope this works out. I'm tired of jobs in which I have no real interest. I want to have a job where I feel like I am actually doing something. Actually helping. Actually ministering. I wonder if the position at Briarlake this summer will be a paid position. Let me clarify- this is not a "I want to make a ton of money to do nothing" sort of thing- I work hard, and will work hard. I only wonder if it will be paid because I HAVE to have a paying job this summer. I haven't had a real paying job since I graduated from Transy. If I don't make some money this summer, I won't be able to stay in school. That is a sad but true fact. If this job is not paying, I'll have to get another one, 40 hours a week, which will severely limit the amount of stuff I'll be able to do at Briarlake, i.e. I won't be able to go on any of the mission trips or fun trips or anything that would require me to miss work. I simply won't be able to devote the time I want and can give to them. And that will suck. So, I hope that this could be a paid position (it doesn't even have to be much. It could even be a salary or stipend, and then they could have all the time I have to give. They could monopolize me for a summer and I would love it. I'd just need a few days over the summer to see the fam at some point). Honestly, I would/could do it for say, around $3,500, give or take. While that seems like a lot, I would be willing to help full-time for about 3.5 months. So, 40 hours a week for 14 weeks is 560 hours. $3,500 over 560 hours is $6.25 an hour. It's cheap! I'm cheap...? And that's just 40 hours a week. I would be giving more- especially on the mission trip (24/7), etc. To be honest, it's pretty close to a bargain. Plus, I'll (hopefully) be giving them at least 5 hours a week for an entire school year following this summer for Con Ed.
Man, I really hope this works out. My motivation is to work with the youth group. I want to get involved, I want to help. I want to get into some ministry. But despite my motivations, the bills must be paid. And if I cannot pay them, I cannot stay in school. Which will prevent me from getting an education and being an actual educated youth minister (sorry, personal bias coming through- I STRONGLY believe youth ministers need at least an equal education to full pastors. I'll rant about that some other time). So, to summarize, I want to work full time at Briarlake. But I simply cannot do it for free, which I hate. I can volunteer a few hours a week for free. But if I want to really be involved on a substantive basis, unfortunately I'll have to make some money. I don't like money. I really don't, which is extremely weird for a former business major to say. But it's true. I do not like money.
The people at Briarlake are supposed to get back to me on Monday about Con Ed. I can do that for free, no problem. In fact, I'd rather do that for free. I'll have to talk to them about this summer at some point soon, so if they cannot do it (which I would understand- it's hard to find money like that), I'll have time to find another job. And if I have to find another job, I guess I'lll just suck it up and do it. And I'll just volunteer as much time as I can at Briarlake. But I would love, absolutely love, to not have to do that. I've been praying it all works out so I can give the church my time, not some job I won't really care for. I'd appreciate your prayers too, if anyone happens to actually read this.
I have a passion to work at Briarlake, a passion to get involved in their youth ministry. It's been a while since I've had a real passion for anything. There have been things that I've really enjoyed, things I like. I'm not ridiculing or discounting anything I've done lately, but it's been some time since something has hit me like this. Actually, I guess it has been since I last did FUP (the First-Year Urban Program, for you non-Transy people. It's a weeklong service project that I was involved with at Transy, until they decided they did not want me. That's also another story...haha), or even the summer I volunteered to be the quasi-interim youth minister at Forks of Elkhorn (my home church). The people here at Candler have yet to see me doing anyhing about which I am passionate. All my Transy people out there know how I can get some times. I love doing something about which I am passionate. That last sentence seems rather obvious. Maybe I should say I feel the most alive, the most useful, the most real, when I'm doing something I feel actually matters. That's it.
Now, I just hope I can express this to Tommy and Alfred, and whoever is involved in the personnel stuff at Briarlake. I want to be able to give them all I can. I need to be able to give them all I can. I need to feel alive.
I feel these waters stirring within me...