creative canvas

desperate | Sunday, 8 November, 2009

This past summer, I took our Sr. High students to a Covenant week long conference called CHIC in Knoxville, TN. At this conference, our students and our leaders were given bracelets so that we could be identified with the conference. If you’ve ever been an adult leader or pastor in charge of students, you understand just how important these bracelets are at conferences. Anyways, after the conference, I decided to leave my bracelet around my wrist as a reminder for me to remember what we had learned at the conference about being “Undone”. Some may call this tacky or unprofessional but for me, it was a reminder of the week with my students.

This bracelet reminded me about the times my students and I had in our nightly small group, a time to debrief the day and to think about what our main session speaker had challenged us with for the evening. We had some good nights of discussion and some good nights of being challenged.

I watched some of our students grow closer to the person that God wants them to be, I watched students from all over begin to understand who God had created them to be and do. I watched students from all over try to push God away during that week and to try to pretend that everything in their lives are perfect, hunky doory. But they aren’t.

I watched drained youth pastors receive a new breath and a hear God’s voice in ministry again. I watched some frustrated, tired youth pastors find restoration and find strength in the one true vine, through the holy spirit. I watched some youth pastors, some who were discouraged and we’re against a brick wall, see the light at the end of the tunnel. They were reminded why we do what we do.  I was in that boat. God reminded me why I do what I do. Why I get so frustrated and heart broken and why it is all worth it for the  Kindgom of God.

I watched some parents be challenged by some youth half their age. I watched them be inspired by their actions and words, I watched them smile.

I watched God move. I saw God work in the lives of high school teenagers, who face sometimes the hardest trials we can imagine from their peers. God’s spirit opened my eyes to what he is doing in students’ lives. He opened my eyes to what he is doing in my life.

I was inspired and moved by God’s word. All these things are part of my memory from CHIC . These are things I want to remember when I look back on my first trip to CHIC.

This bracelet meant these things and many more to me. It was encouraging to look at my wrist and see this bracelet. It was a reminder of God’s faithfulness. It’s a lot of things.

This morning, this bracelet fell off. I was kinda stunned at this moment. I hadn’t really thought about what it would be like for the bracelet to fall off or if I ever lost the bracelet. These memories that this bracelet brings were not only available b/c of the bracelet. But when the bracelet broke, I was reminded of something: like the theme of CHIC “Undone”, my life must become “undone” like that bracelet. My life must fall apart for the glory of God. I don’t want to hold myself or my life together. I want God to hold me together, God to tear me apart, God to mold me. Unfortunately, these desires are not always the desires I strive for. But I am learning how to chase after the things more that God intends for me to chase after. You may feel like sometimes God isn’t holding you together. You may feel like God has abandoned you. But in fact, he hasn’t. He is still there, waiting for you to tell him that you need him to hold you together. This statement isn’t an easy statement to make and in fact, somedays I decide to try and hold myself together. But i quickly am reminded that
I DESPERATELY NEED GOD.

This bracelet, that might not have meant much to anybody else, when it broke, reminded me that i need to be broken and undone.

Become Undone.

Below here is the benediction the entire stadium of students and pastors would speak together before leaving each night:

And now as we go on our way
may Jesus undo our watered-down,
sanitized and sugar-coated faith,
so that we may follow Him into a heroic life
where our comfort zones are undone
so that we are not afraid to become
countercultural and counter comfortable.

Holy Spirit, reveal a God who is bigger
than all we can figure out
and who loves us beyond what we can imagine.

Give us the courage and the commitment
to work together so that none
of God’s work remains undone.

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1 Comment »

  1. Amen. From someone in the same city.

    Comment by Holiday Longing — Sunday, 8 November, 2009 @ 4.19 pm


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