“God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him” (Acts 17:26-27)
One of the key questions we are to ask of ourselves is the nature of our own humanity, and the essence of the relationship between ourselves as created with God as creator. At least if we’re serious about being youthworkers we should be, after all we work in conversation with people, and how we view people and their distinctiveness is aligned to our actions to them ( ie if we see people as devoid of understanding- we teach them)
In regard to the second of these notions I have been reflecting on the following extract from the apostle Pauls speech in the courtyard of Athens ; “from one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth and he determined the times set for them and the exact places that they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him” (Acts 17:26-27) this portrayal of humanity, also (as per Aquinas/HuvBalthasar) enlightens us to a understand God who “reserves himself the right to meet humans in their searching and to satisfy their question in whatever way he chooses” (Balthasar (trans)1982 p 104)
It seems noticeable that we have been created, placed and determined for the sake of being a curious, seeking, searching people who find their way towards God through the process of seeking, asking, questioning even. Is this aspect of self reflection of our condition a distinction for us as humanity? ( do dogs ask themselves- why am i a dog?)
We see in Davids psalms the ongoing searching after God, Jesus affirms our state of seeking (and you shall find matt 7) its also noticeable that in the conversation recorded between Jesus, Judas and Peter, Jesus says ‘you will look for me and one day you will follow”(john 13)- . Maybe to know God is also not to know, seeking and searching is being human and true to how we are to relate to God. Seems like we have been built with an inate questioning, from the four yr old ‘why, why’ questions to then questions as we internalise our place and purpose in the world.
Maybe to know God is also not to know, seeking and searching is being human and true to how we are to relate to God. Seems like we have been built with an innate questioning, from the four yr old ‘why, why’ questions to then questions as we internalise our place and purpose in the world.
If questioning , seeking and searching are part of us, are we guilty as youthworkers are minimalising the seeking process to instead provide closed box answers? Or providing the answers to questions that young people arent wanting to or ready to ask? Or questions that are too simple for young people who are exposed to critical thinking, reflection, philosophy and sense of reason at school? God is not straightforward, or tame, but he is approachable and desires, it seems ,the conversation of an honest heart.
For some young people the answers to questions are a click away on google, but if the deep personal ones take time to process, what tools do they have to wonder, to grope in the darkness or to meet God in the search? On the street we take 100’s of questions, and very rarely do we minimise the question or the person asking it; by being non-judgemental we have no place to do so and no desire to. Because eventually its not ‘our lives’ that will enable young people to meet with God, its that we have opened the possibility that their questions can be directed to someone, and that their conversation with a then unknown God starts with by asking or demanding answers from a question. The challenge for us as
The challenge for us as youthworkers is those that have stopped asking any questions, and ironically its often young people in churches who are afraid to or are preconditioned not to ask.