My son left early this morning on a mission trip to Tennessee. Their work will be in a habitat vein, working on home construction and reconstruction. He had to bring his own tools and paint supplies…to which are brand spankin new, because like his father he is not real handy. Anyway, the send off reminded me of all those many trips I made as a youth minister, bringing faith and life experience to teenagers. Now that I have my own, I tend to keep my past a secret. I’m not sure why, but I do like the added advantage it gives me when I need the insight. He was completely amazed at how I seemed to psychically just know what to bring and how to pack, and what he may encounter on his journey. Even though it has been 20+ years since I’ve ridden on a dilapidated bus like the one he is going on, not much has changed. There are still plenty of poverty-stricken areas that need a helping hand, and there are as many teenagers who need their world blown open. The spiritual aspect always helped make it more palatable to endure seeing such sadness. I hope it is an enriching experience for him….but I certainly didn’t envy the bus ride, a sure sign I’m getting older….