I’m sitting alone in a room filled with bunk beds awaiting the next session when I’m supposed to speak to 250 Christian high school students. I was asked a couple months ago to speak at this retreat, and I was giddy with excitement – because honestly, this is what I love to do.
I love to tell goofy stories with a bit of exaggeration and dramatization.
I love to see the light in their eyes when a point I reference in Scripture actually connects to their heart.
I love knowing that my gifts are being used and I love feeling fully alive as I speak.
I love the struggle of putting together a message that is truly Biblical and yet can be communicated in such a way that reaches whatever demographic sit before me.
I love this.
And two months ago when they asked me to speak on the topic of New Life, I honestly thought it was a standard Christian camp theme…maybe even rolled my eyes a bit as I wondered what’s so special about New Life? I’ve grown far too accustomed to the way we glamorize sermon series or camp themes and I was expecting something…well, something more flashy.
And here I am NOW. Preparing for the big night session when tears will flow and kids will make a stand…and yet, New Life doesn’t seem so elementary anymore. You see, I just drove out of the canyon to find a cell signal so I could call my mom to see if my Pepa was still alive. It was such a weird phone call to make. His life is coming to a close. The doctors suggest it could be today or the next, and we are all just waiting. The waiting is painful – my sister’s words describe it well.
So I sit in a room lined with bunk beds – going over my sermon in my head – but going over moments with my Pepa in my mind. I’m unsure how to respond to the phone call I just made – he’s still alive but the end is very near…and truth be told…it’s time for Him to be with Jesus…it’s time for his FULL NEW LIFE to start.
It has a completely different sound today.
Don’t you just love God’s ways? That my know-it-all attitude about a simple theme was put into line because now the theme is absolutely perfect – not only for these kids – but for me as well. It’s like a precious promise from God as I’m separated from my family at this time when I feel I should be there – it’s a promise from God that what’s on the other side for my Pepa is Jesus! And life with Jesus is good and freeing and beautiful and new.
And as I preach tonight – I’m aware that I’m not just doing something I love. But I’m doing something with eternal purpose – I’m pointing to Jesus who gives New Life. And my Pepa…he’s definitely doing better than I – because while I’m pointing to Jesus, he’s getting ready to meet Jesus.