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Culture | Families | Missions

Tony Myles is a youth ministry veteran, author, speaker, volunteer youth worker and lead pastor of Connection Church in Medina, Ohio... and he really likes smoothies.

My family watches Fourth of July fireworks from a Taco Bell parking lot. It helps us avoid traffic, since most people watch the display at our local high school.

Besides, there’s something about celebrating America by eating Mexican food and looking up at an invention from China.

We invited friends this year, but we weren’t alone. Another large vehicle full of parents, kids, and teenagers showed up. There was a restless energy in the parking lot as significant time passed.

Finally, we heard a “pop-pop-pop” in the distance. Way off and behind some trees, a flicker of fireworks dissolved into the sky. It was far from impressive, and not at all what I remembered from previous years.

“THAT’S WHAT WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR?” bellowed a teenager from the other group.

“Gee, I don’t know,” said the mom.

More fireworks went off—again…far away and hard to see.

“I COULD HAVE BEEN SLEEPING INSTEAD OF WAITING AROUND FOR THAT!” declared another kid.

“Well, okay,” the mom replied. “Next year we’ll just go to the high school.” I heard more grumbling and profanity as they piled into their van and pulled out. I even wondered what to say to the people I’d invited.

Then it happened. “BOOOOOOOOOM!!!!”

Within clear sight, a gigantic red pyrotechnic display spread across the sky. The crackles that followed sounded like sizzling bacon with Dolby Surround Sound.

This was the real display. Whatever we saw before we now realized was an amateur effort, likely out of someone’s backyard.

My first emotion was relief, since I hadn’t ruined things for anyone. My second emotion was regret, for the family who left assuming they’d seen all there was to see and missed out.

Keep this in mind when people reject your next big idea to serve the Kingdom:

• A student will say no to becoming a Christian, not because they’re rejecting Christianity but because they’re rejecting their idea of Christianity.

• Parents will pull their kids out of your next big day of serving, all because they’re whining about what they think will happen.

• Your church will say no to a scholarship fund for youth group trips because they haven’t seen what you have.

They’re not rejecting the actual idea…they’re rejecting their idea of it. You may even get caught up in it.

It’s up to you to remember how you’ve seen God display his power before.

What will you do to keep this fresh in your head?

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