“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12
Age is just a number. This saying is often used when describing romantic relationships, but it is even more appropriate in our relationship with the Lord. Age really is just a number when it comes to serving Jesus and loving the Lord. Some of our greatest saints didn’t make it past their teen years. Mary, the mother of our Savior, conceived him at around the age of 13. No age is too young or too old for committing to Christ. This is a message we, Team 13, have been both learning and teaching here in Plano, Texas.
Two of our team members work with the families entering the Catholic Church once a week. It’s a unique and beautiful opportunity to walk with these teens from first learning that Jesus died for them to seeing them establish a personal relationship with Him.
In February the youth entering the Church had their annual retreat, which the two team members got to help with. During the retreat, one sixth grade girl pulled aside a team member and expressed, with tears falling down her cheeks, her fears about entering the Catholic Church.
She said she was too young and too immature to make such a life-changing decision.
After the team member reassured her that she wasn’t making the decision alone, but rather was making it alongside the Lord, the young girl’s entire demeanor changed. She stopped crying, sat up straighter and squared her shoulders. It was obvious she was filled by the Holy Spirit with the fortitude necessary to choose Christ. The rest of the retreat was incredibly fruitful for all attending. At the end, the youth received the chance to wash each other’s feet, just as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. After the initial cries of “Eww” and “I don’t want to touch anyone’s feet” died down, they all took turns washing the feet of their peers. Through this simple but powerful gesture they learned they are never too young to love and serve their peers.
We as a team are also learning that there is no age limit for sharing God’s love. It is not only young missionaries that are called to share the gospel of love. One older woman who regularly share the Lord’s love and joy with us is the receptionist at the Catholic school we attend for lunch. Every time we see her she exudes genuine love and joy, no matter what is going on in her life. It is impossible to interact with her without feeling God’s love through her. Random strangers often have the ability to share love with us when we least expect it. One day we were eating lunch as a team in a park. All of a sudden an older lady drove by and shouted out her window “Happy Monday! God bless you!” She didn’t know us but her attitude of joy and positivity, which is so contrary to the attitude our society carries, brightened our whole day. It is easy to get stuck in the mindset as missionaries that we are only here to give God’s love. But we are also here to receive his love, and we regularly do from people of all ages.