Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Future

Name: Jacob Peddicord
From: Parker, Colorado
Grade: High School Senior
School: Chaparral High School
Votes: 0

They are our
future. They have to be. I think this as I look out into the small
group of nine kids. They all look back at me, except for that one
little boy who is always looking at his trading card collection or
the girl he likes. I laugh to myself as the youth group begins.

I have
volunteered at Southeast Christian Church for the last five years.
I’ve volunteered continually is multiple ministry areas, but the one
that I have enjoyed the most is the fifth grade room that I now lead
every other weekend. Week to week, I average about an hour of
volunteer hours. This deviates from hour to two hour long blocks,
during which I assist worship leaders, play with the young kids, and
lead a small group and the room overall. This is always the most
difficult part of the experience. Particularly because of my young
age, many of the children have difficulty listening to me and
respecting my authority. However, the other kids tend to keep the
“rebels” in line more than I do, telling them to be quiet
so they can hear or ignoring their pleas for attention.

One such
“rebel” found himself in my small group one Saturday night.
I remember the frustration I felt in my chest. I also remember how
easily the other kids ignored him. They teach me every time that I
lead, but this time in particular they taught me something lasting:
sometimes, you have to let difficult circumstances and difficult
people roll off your shoulders.

I think about
them. Every day of the week I think about my little small group. The
way that they dig into the Bible, ask questions even I can’t answer,
and pray over each other brings me greater satisfaction than anything
else I could do with my time. Seeing their faces light up as they
find the right verse or laugh about a joke with another child makes
my time worth it. While my future is unclear even to me, I often
wonder if children’s ministry might be a part of it. When I am with
them, I can step out of my little world with its little issues and
into something bigger, more universal; I can take their perspectives
and add them to my own.

In the end,
they are the future. After I am gone from my little home town, I know
that they will prosper. I can return to see them, strong and grown. I
sincerely hope that they will remember me. Even if they don’t,
though, I know that what I teach them will remain. Faith, patience,
slowness to anger; these traits make them better people. Better
people make a better world, now and tomorrow. After all, “forward
looking” does not only mean glancing ahead. It means changing
what could be to a better alternative. For me, it means mentoring
those who will come after.

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