Name and Place for August 26 (’14)
We older folks have to stop acting as if we find youth behavior irritating, she said. Kids may act like they don’t want interaction with us, but the truth is that they need to be assured that the older generation does take them seriously and cares about them. We can show this in very simple ways, she said. It can happen just by giving a teenager direct eye contact and thanking them for something.
There is an airport McDonald’s I stop at often that regularly puts me in a bad mood. The young people who work there are constantly talking to each other and it is hard to get their attention. When it is my turn to order, the young people who serve me often turn sullen. They seldom look me in the eye, and they typically mumble when they speak to me. I respond in an irritated way, and I often shake my head in disgust or raise my eyebrows to communicate my displeasure to whoever is standing in line next to me.
From now on it is going to be different. When I stand in line at McDonald’s, I am going to remember Professor Wagener’s lecture. I am going to silently pray for the kids behind the counter, asking the Lord also to give me guidance to all of us who care about effective ministry to young people. And when I get to the head of the line, I am going to ask the person who serves me how he or she is doing, trying my best to make friendly eye contact. And when I receive my Quarter Pounder with cheese, I am going to say “Thank you” (9-10).