These last two months have been CRAZY for the Braner Family. We’ve re-located. We’ve started new programs with KIVU. We’ve started new schools. We’ve made some incredible new friends. And one of the most interesting parts of newness is engaging with a new student group here in Breckenridge.
The organization is called Summit County Youth (SCY), http://www.thescy.com, and it’s been super interesting. At KIVU it was easy. We had developed 15 years of students who knew what to expect, and how to engage. And here, it’s been a re-learning about what students are into, how they communicate, and different environmental pressures they deal with.
Summit County is an interesting place. Nestled right here in one of the ski capitals of the world are some of the most educated people I’ve ever lived around. (no offense to other communities) But it seems like everyone here has a SUPER high level of academic achievement, and most are living in and around the ski resort but many are working elsewhere. (including me)
So when I decided to engage with the students here, my thinking was A. I love hanging with Teenagers, B. It would be a great way to know the community quickly, and C. I feel a deep calling to be involved in the local community no matter where I live. And my interactions have been AMAZING.
We meet Sunday nights for two hours of hangout, food, and a compelling topic of conversation. I’ve watched students come who are atheist, agnostic, transgender, and generally your typical teenager in High School. The same worries and fears found in groups around the world are present, but there’s something interesting about this group. I’ve worked with students who are addicted to various substance, students interested in high athletic goals and dreams, and almost all who are trying to figure out their place in the world.
Last night we talked about the difference between who people say that we are versus the people we truly are. And as I sat back to listen to the students talk about who they want to be, who actually knows them, and how many times they have to play some sort of game to keep up with what people think; I couldn’t help but examine my own life and wonder…
Who do people say that I am?
What a question, right?
It’s not just students who are living in a world filled with labels and identifiers, but actually; I believe it’s most of us.
The Powerful/or Powerless
The Extrovert/or Introvert
But who are we, REALLY? If you could peel back the layers of all the labels, who would you want to be?
It might be something reserved for youth gatherings, but every now and then, it’s healthy for us all to sit an ponder, and maybe ask the question Who does God see?
If you were standing before God today naked from all the labels and groups, what would the creator of the Universe declare over you?
Now that’s worth working with students for.