Thursday, October 30, 2003

a sad, sad day

mike yaconelli died in a car accident last night. who's that? yac was the founder and heart of youth specialties, probably the leading, certainly the most forward-thinking, youth ministry organization in america. i have had the opportunity to hear him speak a couple of times and his books, messy spirituality and dangerous wonder have had impact on my life and the way i think about faith and life and God. mike embraced the emerging church long before it became "ok" to do so and because he did, i found my way into the conversation through articles in youth specialties youthworker journal and opportunities to interact with some of the leaders in the conversation at a YS conference in st. louis is 2000.
even though i never met the man, my life is different because he was here. thanks yac for the laughter and the tears and the stretching and the struggle and the right words in more than one right moment in my journey as a youth minister, a follower of Jesus, and a man. your spirituality is messy no longer.

tearing up

here's a sample of yac
"A Terrible Prayer"
By Michael Yaconelli

I have always been terrible at praying.
I forget. My mind wanders. I fall asleep. I don't pray enough.
I don't understand what prayer is or what prayer does.
If prayer were school…I would flunk praying. But prayer isn't school.
It is mystery. Maybe the mystery is… Jesus loves terrible prayers.
Maybe… when I can't think of anything to say, he says what I can't say.
When I talk too much, he cherishes my too-many words.
When I fall asleep, he holds me in his lap and caresses my weary soul.
When I am overwhelmed with guilt at my inconsistent, inadequate praying he whispers, "Your name is always on my lips."
I am filled with gratitude, my soul overflows with thankfulness and I find myself saying over and over again, "Thank you." Praying the mystery.


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