It is 2015. I have not posted to this blog since, probably this time last year (I can’t bring myself to actually look). Just because I have let it lapse, does not mean that I have given up though. So, to renew its purpose of informing and keeping those who cannot/do not attend CHAOS, or for those who do attend but want a refresher, up to date on what we are doing in part of our preparation for Youth Sunday, here we go again.
The theme for this year’s Youth/Senior Sunday is taken from the book “This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women,” edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman. To summarize, I will quote the back of the book: “Based on the NPR series of the same name, the bestselling “This I Believe” features eighty essayists-from the famous to the previously unknown-completing the thought that begins the book’s title. Each piece compels us to rethink not only how we have arrived at our own personal beliefs but also the extent to which we share them with others. The result is a stirring and provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of people whose beliefs-and the remarkably varied ways in which they choose to express them-reveal the American spirit at its best.”
I have listened to the program on NPR and I have read the book. The reason I chose this book is because of the wonderful spectrum of beliefs that are represented therein. We are at a time as a youth group, as a church, a city, country, world…as the human race…when we need understanding and respect for those who think, feel, love, and believe differently than we do, more than ever. If you come by the youth room during any of our meetings (and you can…you are welcome anytime) you will find a vibrant and thoughtful discussion going on where many different ideas are presented. We don’t always agree, but we always love each other…or at least we try to, we are only human after all.
SO…what did we talk about last week? Great question! And my answer is the title of this blog, taken from the essay by Sarah Adams entitled “Be Cool to the Pizza Dude.” The four Principles are as follows…
1. “Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in humility and forgiveness…His pizza light atop his car glowing like a beacon reminds me to check myself as I flow through the world. After all, the dude is delivering pizza to young and old, families and singletons, gays and straights, black, whites, browns, rich and poor, and vegetarians and meat lovers alike.”
2. “Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in empathy…We’ve all taken jobs just to have a job because some money is better than none…In the big pizza wheel of life, sometimes you’re the hot bubbly cheese and sometimes you’re the burnt crust. It’s good to remember the fickle spinning of that wheel.”
3. “Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in honor, and it reminds me to honor honest work.” No explanation needed there I assume.
4. “Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in equality.”
She closes her essay with this: “Tip him well, friends and brethren, for that which you bestow freely and willingly will bring you all the happy luck that a grateful universe knows how to return.”
So what was our take away from this? Love. As always, love. Over the next semester we will be looking at our belief systems and those of those who believe differently than us, and at those who don’t believe anything at all. We do this so that we may go out into the world and talk with people, not at them. So that we my learn from others, as well as teach. We do this so that we can be the fruit of the spirit that we are called to be.
PS Adams goes into more detail in her essay that I have not included here. If you are interested in reading the rest of this (or any other essay that I use in our lessons and in this blog) please check the book out (and no, I will not receive anything for that plug).