Saturday, October 23, 2010

fruits are worth the labor

Today was slightly frustrating, to say the least. My friends and I are part of a group at Newman that puts on confirmation retreats for 8th graders/kids who are about to make their confirmation. I've only done one before, but in high school I always liked working with kids and teaching them about our faith. Their usually very attentive and respectful [they tend to think we're really cool] and we have a great time. So, naturally, we were expecting the same with today's group.

So, we started with mass at Newman and then trekked over to the parish center for the retreat. Boy were we in for a surprise. From the second we walked into the community room, I knew that this was going to be a rough day. It's hard when you have a group of kids that is really quiet and doesn't like to contribute to discussion, etc. but it's even worse when you have a rowdy group that is really rude and disrespectful of us leaders. We had a SUPER rowdy group today. Oiy.

Basically, the whole day was really hard to get through...not only because we had all gotten up really early to be to Newman by 8:15A, but mostly because it is so exhausting asking a group of 80 thirteen year olds to be quiet over and over again. It got to the point where I didn't know what else to do. I just started feeling really defeated.

But at lunch time, I talked with the adult coordinator for the 8th grade confirmation formation and she said that there was a group of 3 girls who specifically come up to her and said how inspirational the day was. That was so great to hear because after such trouble with the majority of the group, the thought that at least a couple people had gotten something, ANYTHING, out of the 5hrs we spent together is worth it.

At the end of the day we split up into 2 groups, boys and girls, and had some time to just talk about whatever. If anyone had questions, they were welcome to ask and we would answer. Although most of the time was spend discussing Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, I feel like they got a lot out of talking to us. Some of the other girls were discouraged because we hadn't discussed anything pertinent to their everyday lives, like high school, boys, etc. But in my eyes, they really understood what we were talking about and were engaged in the conversation. Most of the time, all it takes is for a couple topics to hook people, and then everything else starts to fall into place.

As much as this day was a test of our strength of mind, body and spirit, it was worth it. All is needed is for a seed to be planted, you may never see the fruits of your labor, but you can feel good knowing that the seed is there to eventually grow and bloom.

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