Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thanks. Just Thanks.

Tonight, we celebrated a great man, a great life, a great ministry, a great sacrifice, a great service, a great blessing.  David Tschumper hit the twenty year milestone of youth ministry at St. Thomas More.  Twenty years in any career is a lot.  Twenty years at any employer is a lot.  Twenty years in youth ministry at the same church is nearly unheard of.  To say that I am in awe is an understatement.  I was in high school for years 7-10, and certainly stuck around enough afterward to feel a part of some of the later years as well.  It's really humbling to look at how he answered his call.  Youth ministry is a ministry of planting seeds, by David's definition.  And you don't always get to see the fruits of those seeds.  I was there for the days when he felt like hanging up his hat.  I was there for the days when it all felt worth it.  And I was there for a lot of memories on the days in between. 

By loose definition, I am in a profession that saves lives.  At times, I have made interventions that have prevented certain and life-threatening harm to a child.  Most of my minutes and hours spent in pharmacy aren't that dramatic, but I am proud of what I do.  I looked around that gym tonight, at all the lives that David has saved, and I was put very soundly in my place.  In my biased opinion, he has saved more lives than firefighters, more than paramedics, more than cardiac surgeons, more than Navy SEALs.  And the lives he saves are eternal lives.  He saves souls.  Well, God saves souls through David.  But you get the picture.  He has taken misguided youth, lost youth, struggling youth, and given them a second home, given them a purpose, given them love and hope, given them conviction and truth.  And those youth have grown up to become priests, religious, youth ministers, missionaries, husbands and fathers, mothers and wives, teachers, mentors, leaders.  They have become people of integrity and faith.  They have become beacons of light in a world that is threatening darkness.  And they have in turn saved other lives, other souls. 

Tonight brought back an awful lot of memories.  Joyful moments filled with the unconditional love of STM; tearful moments of WYD, JTL, SLW and all the other abbreviation-laden ministries; enlightening moments when a tiny piece of God was revealed to me.  Each memory carried with it a sense of home, of peace, of belonging, and most especially gratitude.  My heart is full.  And the words I want to say are best summed up by a song that expresses that gratitude.  For the incredible blessing of an incredible man.  David Tschumper--thanks, just thanks.

Thanks- for keepin' track of me
Thanks- for givin' a dang about me
Thanks- for sayin' that you love me
Thanks- just thanks

Thanks- for lettin' me know you care

Thanks- for always bein' there
Thanks- for makin' me do my share
Thanks- just thanks

Can't thank you enough
I'm high from you liftin' me up

Thanks- for sayin' what you said
Thanks- for clearin' out my head
Thanks- for givin' me hope instead
Thanks- just thanks

Thanks- you left me who I was
Thanks- you showed me what a smile does
Thanks- you loved me just because
Thanks- just thanks

Thanks- for cryin' when I bleed

Thanks- for wavin' when I leave
Thanks- for bein' what I believe
Thanks- just thanks


Laura Zaps said...

I think you should share this with David. Glad it was a good night.

Jim Z said...

It was a good night, but I was sooooo tired that night after hiking Pikes Peak. There was adoration i the church also that night that was really good too. :-)

I agree that you should share this with David...and if you'd like, I'll share the link with him. :-)

I reserve the right to make this blog as worthless to read as I feel like, and also to write as infrequently as I deem necessary. Just thought I'd let you know since I finally decided to share my blog.