I ask this question a lot.
The answer I get to this question depends on where I am, who I asked it of, and how honest they want to be with me. Here's the most common answers I get from high school students on Sunday AM and how I interpret them.
TIRED: I think they must be running all day or they stay up too late reading my blog :), but they are always tired. Crazy thing is, if you ask them what they did yesterday, they almost always say, "nothing".
- my interpretation: sunday morning is a sleepy time for high school church and "nothing" is a very tiring activity.
BUSY: I heard the other day that busy is the new "fine". Seems about right. Everyone is busy. My students are all busy.
- my interpretation: Sabbath and Stress are perhaps the most culturally relevant discussion topics ever in a student's life today. Might just be the most perpetually relevant to my life actually.
FINE: This means nothing to anyone, not even the person who just uttered it.
- my interpretation: 1. I don't want to talk to you. OR 2. that is the dumbest question ever so I'll just give you the dumbest answer ever. OR 3. I'm too tired to think. OR 4. You look as old as my Dad, so I'll tell you the same thing I tell all old people... fine.
NOT GOOD: At least 3 times in the last 2 months I've walked up to a girl sitting by herself in our ministry in a room filled with people on a Sunday AM and said, "It's good to see you... how are you doing?" To which they say, "Not good." I respond, "Oh no, what happened?" and put my hand on their shoulder. This starts a flood of tears and intense sobs they evidently had bottled up and will as quietly as possible let loose of right here in this big room as they cover their face. The pressure releases all at once as they tell me through tears the immense weight they have on their shoulders at that moment.
- my interpretation: We need more adult leaders in our Sunday program- especially women evidently. I should never ever assume that students who look "fine" are really just fine. Students lack healthy physical touch. Oh.. and it's evidently very possible to be very lonely in a room full with people.