This weekend is special. I hope it pushes, stretches me. I pray that it’s hard, that it’s rich, that it’s full to overflowing. I know it’s going to be just a little weird.
At 5:30, I’ll be picking up three kids from the youth group* and driving them to the small city down the road to attend a youth convention with approximately 800 kids. I used to go to this convention as teenager myself. I loved it, looked forward to it every year knowing that I would come home re-energized (if sleep deprived) and quieted, spiritually.
These times were my favourite:
In a crowd of people all raising their hands to worship, I found the comfort to open up my heart to a mysterious God. I learned to move with His presence and breath the praise pouring out all around me.
Of course, it never lasts. A week, maybe two weeks, and the mundane takes over and pulls you down from the spiritual high. Is the weekend of emotions and hard thinking worth it? It’s a controversial question, but for me, I think I know the answer. It is there I learned the motions, there I learned the feeling of the depth of my soul in communion. You don’t forget that feeling. Over time, I have had to learn a different style of worship, a style of worship that will access that depth without the flashing lights, without the raised hands, without the empathy pouring out of the crowd around me. I fully believe that that learning was made possible by the initial experience. Absolutely, those weekends were worth it.
But this weekend is going to be different. I’m not going as a high school student. I’m going as an adult. I’m not going as a conventioneer. I’m going as a leader. I’m not going with the primary goal of being moved, but with the primary goal of being a part of that moving. It’s going to be different. I fully expect I may struggle to embrace that new role, struggle to find a balance between personal communion and mentoring. I pray that I will be able to make a difference to just one young person, that I will be able to help to plaster this weekend into just one mind so that it will be a weekend they never forget in the same way that I have never forgotten them myself.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
Psalm 96 : 8-9
* I never announced it, because life was really busy when the announcement was made from the pulpit, but, here’s a new bit of news! As of May 1st, I took over as the part-time youth leader to a great group of kids at the church we have been attending. This role is new and exciting and important and huge and just a little overwhelming. If you’re a praying type, please keep me and all these kids in your prayers as we transition and as we find an identity for this small group of kids.