I suppose I am a pessimist, although I hope you don’t mind if I still hide behind the façade of a realist. For me, not only is the glass half empty, it’s soon to be bone dry. My condition is rarely more acute than in springtime, when the grass is growing and the flowers are blooming. True story . . . my neighbor spends every dry day (I live in the rainy Northwest) working tirelessly in her flower gardens, and I want to holler, “It’s all gonna die off in a few months anyway!” Perhaps I’m one of those who smells flowers and looks around for the coffin, but what is the point, really?! Grass requires mowing, flowers require weeding, and come winter, they both die off. Even Scripture supports this – “The grass withers and the flowers fall.” (1Pet 1:24)

I’m no more reminded of this passage as I am during “PCS season” when many of our military families receive orders to pack their belongings and move to other installations. Those of us involved in military youth ministry can come to dread PCS. It’s a time in which we at some point will lose our closest and most committed students, families, volunteers, and chaplains. It’s hard not to say, “What’s the point? They’re all gonna leave in a few months anyway!” The hours of teaching, ministering, serving, training, encouraging . . . all a waste! The ministry that we’ve built is a fading and dying wild flower at season’s end.

Thank God that 1 Peter chapter 1 has another verse! “But the word of the Lord endures forever.” (Nothing beats pessimism like rational thought.) God’s word endures – the Gospel endures and lives on in the lives of those that we send off. Like the dying bloom that lives on in the seeds that it spreads, God’s word lives on in the lives of those who were touched by our ministry, and additionally will take root and grow in the lives of those new families and volunteers who PCS to our installation. As much as I’ll miss those families that are leaving us this summer, I look forward to the new lives that will be arriving. This realist is beginning to appreciate that PCS is not something to dread, but is instead just another function in the reproductive process of the Gospel of Christ.
 

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