Friday, September 19, 2008

Awesome Report from Sandy Cove

I just got the following letter from our TKCS Knightly News. I had told you Cheney is on a retreat with school and they sent the following report. Their words, not mine. I don't want to steal credit for writing:) It filled my eyes with tears as I read it. God is so good.

"Apparently, God Didn’t Get the Memo


As everyone knows, nighttime bonfires at Christian teen retreats are supposed to be carefully scripted and planned in advance. They’re supposed to start on time and end on time, with a few tears, a few yawns, and a few shallow commitments which everyone knows will soon fade away, some even before the campfire smoke clears. They’re supposed to be led by the adults, the grown-ups who know better and have years of experience staging worship experiences.

Tonight, here at Sandy Cove, apparently God had other plans.

Apparently, He didn’t even notice the sound system that was set up, because the kids didn’t use it. Instead, they raised their voices loudly in prayer, one by one, the young men first, the young ladies following, all praying openly and unashamedly for forgiveness, for God to work in their broken lives, for God to continue burning in their hearts in the days and year to come. They prayed for revival.

Apparently God forgot about the guitar that sat, unused, on the bench in the back. Instead, He filled the students’ hearts with the songs they have been singing for years. Chorus after chorus, hymn after hymn, about 25 or 30 different songs, one right after the other, for well over an hour and a half, all sung without instruments, without PowerPoint, without hymnals or song sheets, without thought to those around, only to the One being sung to.

Apparently, God wasn’t watching the clock or the color-coded retreat schedule, because the bonfire service wasn’t supposed to start until the pizza event was all over, and the chaperones rounded up the reluctant kids and urged them to the fire. Instead, the seniors took it on themselves to get the crowd moving to the hillside overlooking the bay, where they began singing, “Our God is an Awesome God,” over and over and over.

Apparently, God didn’t see the benches set up neatly in rows a few feet from the fire, because no one sat in them. Instead, they marched 200 yards across the field, arm-in-arm, singing the whole way, and directly to the fire, surrounding it, three people deep. For the next 90 minutes, some stood, some kneeled, some raised hands, some wrapped their arms around the one next to them, some drifted off to the hillside to cry or pray with a friend, and then rejoin the rest. Young men hugged each other, said “I love you,” and yet no one giggled.

Apparently, God forgot that the school’s Minister of Spiritual Life or maybe the retreat speaker, or at least some other adult is supposed to keep the “program” moving and keep the kids focused on God. Instead, God used the student body president, and a few other senior guys to do that. Guys? Since when are they the spiritual leaders in a Christian school? The adults just sat to the sides, quietly praying and letting God do what He was going to do.

Apparently, God forgot all of the standard protocols for Christian teen events.

Instead, He just showed up, got everything else out of the way, and did what only He can do—speak to the passionate, open young hearts of the next generation of disciples and world-changers.

Apparently, our job, as adults, isn’t to do God’s job for Him. He can do just fine on His Own. Instead, like the apostle Paul with young Timothy, we simply want to “fan into flame the gift of God,” by mentoring, encouraging, and discipling those who, tonight, worshipped God in spirit and in truth."

7 comments:

Martha said...

Amen. There are no words to add.

I thought of Sandy Cove when you mentioned Maryland, although I have never been there. It is often mentioned as a destination for a pastor's retreat or a conference of some kind. I believe both Bethany and Dave have been there at one time or another.

Miss Melanie said...

Oh, wow!!! What a great story.

I know your son Cheney has a great heart. A couple times he's said something just so kind to me, knowing I was hurting. You can be so proud of him. Kids like the ones in the article give me hope that the world will turn out ok.

Christine said...

Awesome!

Heather said...

Yes, Martha, I know that Bethany has been there, at least. I remember her saying so when I went to Sandy Cove for a scrapbooking weekend.

joeks said...

Wow!

Bethany said...

God is so awesome!

Ashley said...

Wow! The tears are just flowing and I can't stop them!