We had our annual “Senior Banquet” for the youth ministry on Sunday night. It was a great night for everybody there. We laughed a lot, shed a few tears, and reminisced about the many wonderful times we had together. We recognized 13 seniors, many of whom have been part of our youth ministry for seven years, and all of whom were faithful participants to the end. That’s unusual for a group of seniors, and for this reason, and many others, I’m particularly fond of this class. I have an abundance of memories of each one of them, and it was fun to sift through the thousands of pictures and video clips of our many experiences together.
One of our traditions at this banquet is a thing I call “Senior Futures.” After much prayer, deep soul-searching, and conversations with the Holy Spirit, I write down what each senior’s future is destined to be. Ok, I confess the only “spirit” these come from is the spirit of caffeine and sleep-deprived insanity, but nevertheless, they could come true. I mean, anything is possible with Christ, right? I can’t publish the full “stories” here, but here’s the list in an nutshell. If you know any of these kids, you’ll definitely get a kick out of them. They are in order in the picture above, left to right.
Andrew Tolbert –- Forges career as Jonathan Lipnicki look-alike (he’s the little kid on Jerry Macguire)
Laura Beth Stafford –- Mother of five boys is driven to become Cookie Entrepreneur
Grace Kneebone -- Is “discovered” and becomes Rock Star and Judge on American Idol
Zach Bensley -- Enters newly formed “College of Hogwarts, later becomes founder of Mercedes Bensley (cars for tall people)
Heather Mee -- Majors in surfing at Biola and marries hippie guy named Jon Yu, making her Mrs. Mee-Yu
Jacob Augustine -- Mistaken for Luke Skywalker, becomes Heir of the Star Wars saga
Carlee Lambros -- Future “Mrs. Keckler’s” strange power to text animals leads to career as pet psychologist
Travis Lowery -- Graduates from Jimmy Cone College to become Circus Acrobat and successor to Six Flags dancing guy
Kristen Seymour – Becomes crazed Field Hockey Coach of Five-Year-Old Girls
Daniel Henry -- Founder of the Jewish Ultimate Frisbee League (this was my personal favorite)
Rebecca McDaniel -– Saves child falling from Ferris Wheel to win Frederick County Fair Princess and inherit giant shoe house
Kasey Ring -– Yet another mysterious illness leads her to become Patient of Dr. House; she recovers to cheer for Liberty flames
Adam Krop -- Flunks out of Princeton but makes comeback as Professional Wrestler and creator of the signature "Krop Circle" move
I suspect the accuracy of my predictions may be less than 100%, but one thing I do know for sure; these young men and women are going out into the future with a full measure of our love and best wishes. The Lord has blessed our years together, and I trust that the truths they’ve hidden in their hearts will guide them through life. Seniors; remember that your true identity is a child of God. That is what you are! Nights like Sunday can carry a youth pastor for another year.