i try. i even try hard. no, really, i do. i try my best to stay level headed. i try to remind myself over and over how lucky i am. i try to remember that by no means do i deserve the life that i have.

but sometimes, no matter how hard i try, it just doesn’t work.

sometimes, even though i’m trying, i get caught up in the crap.

a lot of the times i get caught up in the work. i get so focused on what has to get done. i have to make this promo slide, that video, do sound check for the band, find someone who can run the lights even though they’re possessed by satan, set up for one of the thirty events at the church this weekend, and then lock-up at night when all of the events are done.

there are times when i get caught up in the relationships and slip into “everyone’s out to get me.” i fight with people because i think i know better when in fact i’m just a 24-year-old idiot who’s never done this before. i just get this chip on my shoulder thinking that i have to make up for all of the time i missed out on while running from god. it’s stupid really.

whatever the case may be, i get caught up in the crap and completely lose sight of how ridiculously lucky i am.

i’m less than six months out of seminary. i had absolutely no resume worthy church experience upon graduation. all of my experience was in athletics because that’s what i wanted to do. getting ministry experience was the absolute last thing on my mind in college.

when i graduated, i was nowhere near ready to be an on-staff youth leader. i was just getting over a war with lust and pornography. i was still fighting demons from a break-up that messed with me much more than it ever should have.

less than six months ago, i was still learning what a growing relationship with jesus was. i rarely read my bible and the idea of an every day quiet time was something that i thought i just wasn’t cut out for. i probably couldn’t have said for sure that i had read the gospels (just the four books) all the way through. maybe i shouldn’t admit that but hey, it’s who i was.

there is absolutely no reason that i should’ve had a job lined up before i graduated. none. by all logical thinking, there were countless people out there with prettier resume’s, more experience, and more of the things that attract church people. i have friends that are still bouncing around trying to latch on somewhere and they’re much more qualified than i am.

but for some reason, god chose me.

i have no clue what that reason was. i can’t tell you why he picked me out of all of the recently graduated student ministry guys out there to come to this church in west knoxville and work with this group of leaders and students.

whatever the reason though, i’m thankful. i don’t deserve it, but i’m not going to complain.

our first event of this school year was on august 25. we had, i think, 135 people there. i was blown away. that’s bigger than the church i grew up in. students came, they were engaged, they were excited, and i loved it. i remember going home and just being excited to be a part of a ministry that big.

and i was content.

i was content with what we had because it was more than i deserved. based on everything that i had done, i was more than blessed to be a part of a ministry that strong.

but god doesn’t base things on what we deserve.

in the past two months, we have grown by over 30 students. last night, we had 166 people at fuel and the only thing everyone can agree one was that it felt like there were more than that there.

i’m not only a part of a strong ministry, but i’m a part of one that’s growing and growing fast.

before i go any further, please don’t take any of this as me tooting my own horn or saying, “look how god’s blessed me. if he hasn’t done this to you then you suck.” that’s not what i’m saying at all. i’m writing this because for the past month, i’ve gotten wrapped up in the job and forgotten about the blessing. i’ve been frustrated, pissed off, and a few other negatives much more than i’ve been thankful, gracious, or any other positive emotion. i’m writing this to confess that.

i’m also writing this to remind myself, and maybe you, that nothing i ever do will be enough to justify how god blesses me in any way. i could’ve had all of the experience in the world, known the entire bible in three languages, and had a two hour quiet time every day and i still wouldn’t deserve the things that i have right now. god loves us so much that he blesses us regardless of the fact that we’re screw ups.

i got caught up in the crap and went way too long without thanking god.

don’t make the same mistake i did.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.