Tonight I am speaking to our youth group. When I have done this in the past, I find myself gleefully telling Jacob, our youth minister, how happy I would be to speak and then the day of the event I begin sweating early hoping I can connect the audience. I was a kid once but I’m not any longer. My thinking has changed. The way I talk has changed. The way I see things have certainly changed (I used to think 43 year old men didn’t know what they were talking about – now I’m convinced they don’t). I wonder if I’ll be able to say things so they understand and use illustrations they can understand. When I told Jacob I would speak this week, I knew what I was going to talk about. Now, I’m second-guessing and wondering if I should come up with something different.
I think my concerns are based completely on my audience. When I talk to my peers, I hope what I talk about will help them. When I talk to our youth group, I hope what I talk about will change their lives. Surely that’s not putting too much pressure on myself, is it? Ha.

Before I speak to any group I always pray the same prayer and will do so again tonight. “Father, let the words I speak be your words, let the message they hear be your message and let hearts be open to your love. Amen.” I hope you’ll pray that for me too.