The What and Who of Meandering About

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tired and Busy

"Hey. Great to see you! How are you?" This is how I greet many of the students with whom I am privileged to work each week.

The top responses to this seemingly innocuous question are, "Tired" and "Busy."

Very rarely do I get a "Great" or even a simple "Good."

I know that some of this is just teens responding as teens typically respond. I am sure they are often thinking, "What can I say to get me out of this conversation as quickly as possible?"

However, having said that, I do find it incredibly interesting that the first thing that pops into a young person's head as a possible response is "Tired" or "Busy."

I think these responses tell us something. I think they tell us something about the lives of our young people, and how they are coping with those lives.

I have been in youth ministry for almost 25 years. I can tell you that it is indeed true that today's students are busier than any other group of young people I have known. Of course, I am not telling you anything new. You live with them.

I can also safely say that because of their "busy-ness," they are also the least rested of any of those groups. I am not talking about sleep (although, there are studies that show that they are not getting nearly enough sleep). I am talking about rest. Time when there is nothing to do but enjoy their surroundings, their friends, their family, their music...life.

Here is a radical thought. What if as a family you came up with a plan when everyone in the family took a break from all of the busy-ness on a regular basis, if only for one night a month? No one is allowed to plan anything for the 3rd Thursday of the month, the 2nd Saturday, or the 1st Friday. How crazy?! Experiment with it. Change it up. Decide as a family what day would work. Stick with the plan. Then...take a break, and breathe!

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