Anyone else out there a big Paulo Coelho fan? (He wrote The Alchemist, one of the best-selling novels of all time and a personal favorite of mine.)
He’s also a pretty prolific blogger and wrote a post recently called, “Yes, It Is Worth It
.” Here it is in its entirety:
Life is like a big bike race where the goal is to fulfill you personal legend.
At the start, we are riding together, sharing the camaraderie and enthusiasm. But as the race progresses, the initial joy gives way to the real challenges: tiredness, monotony and doubts about our own abilities.
We notice that some have withdrawn. They are still running, but only because they cannot stop in the middle of a road. They are numerous, pedaling alongside the support car, talking to each other and performing only their obligations.
Eventually we distance ourselves from them and we are forced to face the loneliness and the surprises of the unknown curves with the bikes. And after a while, we begin to wonder if it’s worth the effort.
Yes, it is worth it. Just don’t quit.
I read that and it seemed to me as if Paulo was writing about being a youth worker. The burnout rate in this ministry field is so high — maybe you can relate to the rider who pushes ahead, alone and wondering if it’s worth the effort? Are you at a point where you would rather just coast along versus take another risk of moving forward?
If you are, then my message is the same as Paulo’s… Yes, it is worth it. Just don’t quit.
In a bike race, the person who surges ahead to the finish might win money, temporary fame, or maybe just a yellow jersey. But in youth ministry, our prize is far greater. We are running this race, striving forward, to hear our Creator smile and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Yes, it is worth it.