Sometimes it hits you.
After 5 years, my time with TeenPact Leadership School has come to a close.
If you look back on your life you can identify different turning points that changed things profoundly for you even if they didn’t seem so significant in the moment. When I packed up for a week of government class in 2010 with some friends I never thought that things could change so much.
TeenPact, as I’ve written before is an organization that does a number of things. The 2014 season is the 20th year that TeenPact has been in existence, a ministry that formed in Georgia in 1994 after a prayer meeting in the basement of the capitol building. Over the years, the ministry has expanded to serving thousands of individuals in 40 states- their mission is this:
Our mission is to train youth to understand the political process, value their liberty, defend the christian faith and engage the culture at a time in their lives when, typically, they do not care about such things.
Just a week ago, I returned from Alaska where I had spent 11 days with the Alaska State TeenPact Class. This was a phenomenal experience with which to finish my time with TeenPact. The scenery was beautiful. This is Lake Eagle and Lake Symphony in Chugach State Park near Eagle River Alaska- this shot was 6.3 miles from the trailhead- totally worth the hike.
The new friendships I made were great, and the old friendships I had already were strengthened. Danny Sullivan our Program Director for the week and myself.
We had some fun extracurricular activities too (hiking, climbing, flying, sledding, picture taking, etc)
But all good things must come to an end. I am so thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had with TeenPact but the week had to come to a close.
The Alaska state class was the final class to finish the 20th season of the TeenPact state classes
TeenPact has taught me many things and I’ve changed immensely since 2010 when I was first involved.
One big thing that I’ve taken with me through time with TeenPact is a mindset of not losing opportunities.
With the fast-paced nature of a TeenPact class there are rare times that are not jammed with activity in the 4 day class. With a spiritual focus that overarches the entire week, one must as Ephesians 5:16 says:
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
As we go through our time, whether at an event or simply living our everyday lives we need to be entirely aware of the opportunities that are passing by each of us. We can choose to take them or to let them slide. In a situation like TeenPact, the time is short and urgency helps to spur one on to action.
Yet so many times we blaze through time, a week, a day, an hour without capitalizing on the opportunities that were presented to us. This is something that pricks me, the value of time.
Our time is precious, and we dare not waste it on things that are outside our scope of purpose in life. This doesn’t mean that we never waste time, just that we must be aware of the fact that we have limited opportunity to make a difference.
This is not a Carpe Diem motivational post though, don’t seize opportunity for opportunity’s sake. Evaluate the chances based on your foundation, mine is the Bible, and take the path of the most impact for the Kingdom of Heaven.
So, while being bummed that my time with TeenPact as a traveling staff member is completed. I know that I took the opportunity to pour into those that were around me. Hopefully pointing others back to Christ.
I urge you to take your opportunities.
For those of you perhaps wondering what’s next for me, I am continuing my college studies with CollegePlus! and getting more excited by the day to invest part of my summer with Summit Ministries as a summer staff member. I’ll be out there from July 16-August 30th. If you haven’t yet, familiarize yourself with this ministry- their work is absolutely phenomenal.
Follow me on Twitter! https://www.twitter.com/jondelange
I’ll be there for session seven! See you in August!
Awesome! Can’t wait!!