I've had a pretty awesome weekend so far. I hung out with my youth group which is full of amazing, wonderful, inspiring people down in Springfield where we spent the weekend at a youth convention. There were some really awesome people there including Shane Claiborne, Scott Erickson, and Family Force 5. Shane is an awesome guy who dedicated his whole life to loving people and caring for them and writing some books in the process. You should check him out if you don't know who he is. Scott is an amazing worship artist with a fantastic sense of humor.
There are many things I learned on this trip including:
1. You can't be in our youth group if you don't dance. (I'll address this later.)
2. Some people really truly touch my heart in ways that they will never know.
3. I just really love the people in my life.
As many teenagers and even adults are, I am sort of freaking out about the direction my life is headed. I feel as if every question someone asks me has to do with my very uncertain future. I got to talk to Shane Claiborne one on one this weekend and he gave me some great advice: whatever you do, do it full out. If I were to go to school I should go 100% into it, but if it turns out that I need some time off, I could do that too. Whatever was to happen, I just needed to have my full heart in it. He even said that he didn't know what his occupation was, or what he was going to do when he "grew up". Of course he was just being funny, but I think there was some truth in it as well. We should be so open to whatever is happening now or next that we are not for sure about anything. A radical way to live, however it seems like the right way.
Also, you shouldn't be afraid in whatever you do. As I mentioned, Family Force 5 (freakin' awesome band for those who aren't in the know) was at this convention. We were four rows from the stage and as soon as they started playing all 18 of us broke out in dance. An entire row of people ranging from ages 14-30 dancing surrounded by the other thousand people there who were just standing. Not even nodding their heads. The first song they played was "Dance or Die". Just knowing the name of the song, how could you not dance? I am not one with any rhythm but I sure do love to dance. By the end of the show we got a few of the people around us to partake in our little party. As we were leaving we noticed that our row of chairs was a mess but everyone else's rows were completely straight. Crazy. I wish they had my youth pastors in their life to teach them it's okay to be completely outrageous all the time. In fact it's encouraged.
I am really enjoying this whole no social networking thing. I feel a little out of the crowd when every single person around me is on their phone, but at the same time all I need to know is what's happening around me at the given time. This guy was talking about how the more friends you have online the less you have in real life. People are losing the genuine communication between each other. A real relationship that can only be formed through face to face contact. If you have an online group of friends you'll still get awfully lonely. Which brings me to the title of this post: if you only eat virtual food, you'll starve. Having the most popular posts on Facebook won't bring you any true value, and having the most followers won't make you feel any less alone. Surrounding yourself with people who make doing the right thing easy is the best way to live your life. It allows you to have a solid community of people building you up and pushing you to go out into the world and help it. That is what life is all about, folks.