Is it all worth it?

Published by Brian Hershey on

Every now and then a guy needs to know that his work is not in vain. That’s where I found my thoughts drifting this morning.

Is all this study at DTS going to be worth it?

Will the hundreds of hours I’ve given to my work for rezlife be profitable?

When will I ever see the fruit of all this hard work?

These were silent questions, of course, but God heard them nonetheless.

A few moments later, I read about a young man named Michael. Michael’s life took a radically different turn following one rainy weekend back in April. He joined 180 leaders and students for a trip specially designed for MS students. He climbed up a sheer rock wall and over a challenging ropes course. He drove go-carts and shot arrows, pellet guns, and played laser tag with his buddies.

And he also participated in the small group time following the evening Club talks. There he learned about three young men from Daniel 3 – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – who chose a shorter life of integrity rather than a longer life of comprise and how they made that pivotal choice in the face of great opposition.

He asked questions of his leader and allowed God to probe his heart. At the end of the last talk, he was challenged to take what he had learned at camp and apply it in the home. He realized that good intentions are not good enough; they must be followed through with decisive action.

To Michael’s credit, he took that challenge seriously. When his mother ran into one of Michael’s leaders a few days after the camp, she asked what they had done to her son. He was different. Respectful. Apologetic. Helpful. The mother was stunned at the change (and the leader a bit relieved by the good news!).

Why did this story encourage my heart and lift my spirits?

Because I was Michael’s camp speaker.

Until this morning, I had no idea that the five-talk sequence I had spent months preparing had such an impact on Michael and his whole family. In the months following, I often wondered whether my effort made any difference whatsoever.

I praise God for the team of prayer warriors who daily lifted the whole camp up in prayer during that grueling 10-day trip. I praise God for Michael’s capable leader, Dale, who courageously led his team of five guys into the “deeper waters”. But most of all, I praise God for caring enough to touch my heart with Michael’s story at such a tender moment on this Monday morning.

“Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Paul, 1 Cor 15:58

Stay the course. Press on. Run well. Be faithful. You may not know how God will use you, but serve anyway to the best of your ability.

This is the leadership lesson I learned…yet again…this morning.

You’re my hero, Michael! Keep making good choices.

Brian Hershey

Brian Hershey currently serves as the Campus Life Military Senior Advisor for the Greater Omaha Youth For Christ chapter in Omaha, NE. He holds an undergraduate degree in education, a Masters in Theology from Dallas Seminary, and 20 years of youth ministry experience. He and his wife, Bonnie, have been serving military teens and families since 2001 in Bad Aibiling, Wurzburg, Heidelberg, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and Kaiserslautern, Germany as well as Naples, Italy.

1 Comment

Joe Kovanda · August 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Great story and encouragement. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *