Listen to the Cheshire Cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” said Alice
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
Today in this age of information overload I often hear Alice’s question, “Which way do we go from here?” We are looking for the “right answer” (oftentimes that means the easiest) to get “there” without even pausing to consider where “there” is!
We need to ask ourselves, “What is of critical importance that I should teach these precious youth in the few years I have with them?” There are many possible answers to this question. I keep a bright pink journal (so I can easily find it amongst all the other books and papers) and have recorded ideas as they came to me so that I have a list that I can use for lesson planning. Even with this list I leave room for current events that need the church’s response like the recent sexting scandal in West Virginia.
My list provides a guide so I am not like Alice and just going “somewhere.” In following this path, I am honoring the trust the church and the parents have placed in me by allowing me to walk alongside their youth, if even for a little while.
Where is “there” for you? Like it or not, there is not a single right answer to this question. There are features of “there” which we will all share – everyone should have an understanding of the grand story of the scriptures. Each of our communities is a little bit different, some are rural, some urban, some college bound, some not. The characteristics of your community and your youth will shape and color the “there” you are going to.
Do you have a “there” or do you just hope to end up somewhere?