Glorify/Life Teen Community Everything I Am by Nick Guiney Editor’s Note: This blog is part of a series of blogs submitted by our readers that relates to our 2015 theme of Glorify. If you would like to submit a blog about how God’s glory was revealed in your life this past year, please see these guidelines. As a Summer Missionary at Hidden Lake, my heart was touched by each and every teen I encountered. I could write thousands of stories of how kids overcame their fears, learned about Christ, and taught me about Christ, in addition to so many others. Unfortunately, both you and I don’t have the time to read or write all of these stories, so I just want to share one. It was the last week of camp, and I noticed a large group of teens from my parish sitting near the lake talking, so I decided to join them. After a little while of conversation, one of them asked a question that was frequently asked throughout the summer: “Why do you and all of the other summer missionaries love camp so much?” After five weeks with teens, I thought I had perfected an answer, and it went something like this: “Well, I think I love it here because I get to glorify God in so many ways. I mean I start my day in prayer, spend time praying with you, I go to Mass, I get to praise God, and then I get to end my day with prayer as well. I guess the reason we all love camp so much is that here we only get to glorify God in our strengths, we never have to show our weaknesses.” Normally teens would respond, “Wow, that is so cool! I want to be a summer missionary one day.” But not this time; instead, I was challenged. I remember vividly one of the teens saying something like this, “Well Nik, you know you can glorify God in your weaknesses as well as your strengths. He loves seeing you using your talents, but part of me thinks that He loves seeing you ask for help even more. We can glorify God in our weaknesses by simply realizing we aren’t perfect and asking for help.” I wish I could have seen my face when she finished her thought. I was stunned. Other teens chimed in too, “My weakness is prayer. I think I can glorify God by asking you and the other missionaries how to pray.” Again, I was left speechless. I had no idea how to respond. I attended a Jesuit high school and would always hear St. Ignatius of Loyola’s words “Do Everything Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God).” I thought I knew everything about glorifying God. I would write “AMDG” on every paper and test throughout high school. Yet, here I was totally thrown off guard by a high schoolers unbelievable wisdom and insight. I was completely astounded, yet I shouldn’t have been. Each day of camp, God found a way to touch my life with a little nugget of wisdom from a teen, but this one felt a little bit deeper. This one was something I really needed to learn, something I truly needed to work on. I am often prideful and therefore hate asking for help. I don’t like to show my weaknesses, but over the past few months, this is something I have really focused on. I would have never thought that I could glorify God in my weaknesses. Whether it be asking a professor or a friend for help, or even just saying “no” to something I know I can’t do, I can still glorify God. I am able to glorify Him by realizing that I don’t have to do things alone, but instead serving Him by working with others and accepting my own gifts as they are. To all the teens in all of my parishes this summer, to the young lady who taught me I can glorify God in everything, to all of the teens I sent flying through the air on the blob, to each teen I met and talked to, and to the teens that I didn’t get the chance to meet, THANK YOU. Thank you so much for affecting my life and re-affirming Christ’s love for me and our Church. Thank you for affecting the lives of each and every summer missionary; I guarantee you, your authenticity impacted us all.