I love mountains. The one thing I miss since living in Michigan is mountains. They are majestic and grand; they present challenges and excitement. I feel close to God when I am breathing the fresh mountain air. When you are hiking in mountains there are these high elevation lakes. The most beautiful lakes I have ever seen just wedged between cliffs, crystal clear and freezing cold water. These lakes are stunning.
Some time ago, I was backpacking in the Sierra Nevada’s, and we hiked a few days to one of these high elevation lakes. The walls of the majestic peaks protected the lake, so no wind touched the water. The water was perfectly still reflecting all the surroundings with precision. I stepped up to the water’s edge and peered in. I saw myself in the water. I picked up a very small pebble, and I tossed it into the middle of the lake. Immediately there were ripples that started in the middle and went all the way across in every direction. The ripples bounced off the edges and continued making more and more ripples. The effect of this tiny stone was great indeed. No more could you see the huge peaks reflected in the lake, the clouds and sky were blurred, and my reflection was almost erased.
I believe that just like this little stone, young people can have huge effects on those around them. Look at Jesus’s disciples, some may even have been as young as thirteen years old when they were called by Jesus. They were teenagers and young adults in their twenties when they were called and responded to Jesus. He picked these young men to be his leaders. Jesus called them, and so can we.
At Pioneer we have a lot of great opportunities for our youth to make a difference. We have Pathfinders, Sabbath School, Bible Studies, Mission Trips, Andrews Academy and more. These are all places where our youth can actively participate in becoming leaders for God, and continuing learning how to journey with Jesus for themselves.
Our young people have so much potential, they just need to continue to be equipped to share the Good News of Jesus. The quote in Education by Ellen White, is a continuous reminder and encouragement to us as we work with youth people.
“With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come—the end of suffering and sorrow and sin! How soon, in place of a possession here, with its blight of sin and pain, our children might receive their inheritance where “the righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.” Where “the inhabitant shall not say. I am sick.” And “the voice of weeping shall be no more heard.” Education 271.2
Remember the lake, when one pebble is thrown in it can make lots of ripples. Our young people can create similar ripples of positive change in the world when they are encouraged to recognize their worth in Christ and channel their energy and talents in reaching others for the kingdom of God.