If you're wondering why the youth don't seem to care about church...

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Last night, the son of friends of mine came home from after-school basketball practice at 7:00, grabbed a pocket pizza, and went upstairs to work with his tutor on his chemistry test prep.

Lord, have mercy.

As I get older, more and more highly do I value the commandment of keeping the Sabbath, remembering that rest is holy and important work, and the more I think the way we treat students in junior high and high school is inhumane. I don’t know anyone who works harder or longer hours than the average high school student.

And all this while they are going through perhaps the most overwhelming physical and emotional changes in their lives, some of it involving significant pain. Not too long ago, I saw this amazing time lapse video from an orthodontist showing teeth being straightened. And this is only one of the physical changes that happens – and one imposed by other people at that.

Don’t you love change? Isn’t change fun? Well, try going through ALL THE CHANGES while being essentially powerless and constantly evaluated by parents, teachers, and peers.

Christ, have mercy.

So when you have your next confirmation class, your next youth group meeting, your next Sunday School, and the youth are late and they don’t want to settle down, and they just want to goof off and they give you smart-ass answers to your questions or don’t pay attention at all, take a deep breath, recognize it’s probably not about you, or about the Church, or about God. The chances are you have a suffering soul in front of you who needs your prayer and compassion. The lesson can wait. Your love is essential.

Lord, have mercy.

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