If you’ve spent any time in or around a church youth group, you’ve heard of See You At The Pole. If you haven’t, here’s the deal: every year, across the country, Christian students get to school early, gather around the flagpole, and spend time praying for their school, friends, families, etc. It’s been going on for over twenty years, and is a great thing.
It’s happening tomorrow, so if you’re a student, go check it out. If you’re a parent, encourage your kids to wake up early and attend. But if you’ve never been, I’d like to give you a little heads up. I’ve been to a lot of SYATP days, and there are some people who attend every year. Be on the lookout for the following:
1. The guy who kinda knows how to play the guitar and leads a few songs. That capo is his best friend. He knows G-C-Em-D like the back of his hand. After all that’s all you need to play about a dozen praise songs written from 1992-present. He’s normally just known for being smart, quiet, and really nice, but this morning is his chance to shine. And shine he will.
2. Overly-enthusiastic youth pastor. He’s the one wearing a SYATP t-shirt. And singing really loud. Probably with his eyes closed. He may even try to get everyone to clap along with the faster songs. He’ll say “amen” really loud, and not just at the end of the prayer.
3. “Oh! I forgot that was today, but I’ll sprint over there now” kids. They meant to be there at 7:00, they really did, they just forgot to ask their mom to bring them early. Sure, the songs are done and the scripture’s been read and we’re halfway through the closing prayer, but they made it. Just in time. Didn’t miss SYATP. They’ve been there every year for five years…for a total of fourteen and a half minutes.
4. School administrators standing fifty yards away. The principal, assistant principal, maybe even a board member. (More like bored member, am I right?) They need to keep an eye on things while keeping a safe distance away. So they just stand and watch. Shoulder to shoulder. Occasionally leaning over and whispering to each other, but mostly just watching and waiting for everyone to go to class. Because you know who likes to get rowdy and out of control? Christian teenagers before 8:00 a.m.
5. Hand motion girls. Holy moly, if your group sings “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High,” this Jesus-loving trio is going to point-up-point-down-spread-hands-point-down-extend-arms-pound-hand-extend-arms-cross-arms-point-up like there is no tomorrow. Well, two of them will. The third girl is their other best friend, but she only kinda knows the motions, so she’ll do her best to follow along. But she’s not fooling anyone. We see you.
Other things to take notice of: the circle is just a little too wide, people sing pretty quietly, that one guy is taking pictures while everybody else is praying, and there’s never enough donuts or orange juice.
What’s your favorite SYATP experience? What did I forget?