What an interesting rollercoaster of a week that was. Twelve hundred “die hard” students from seventy six different countries all in one place. Worship for an hour each day, speakers Bill Johnson, followed by Kris Vallotton delivering bomb after bomb all week long and expectation hanging in the air.
It was easy to get distracted; watching the artwork being created, the dancing being performed, the band, the lights and the crowd. It was easy to feel like you were somehow missing the point; watching the shaking, the crying, the contorted facial expressions, the falling to the ground, the shrieking, the laughing and raised hands.
It was easy to stand there and be critical, cynical, even judgmental about the behaviors of the crowds of people around me. To stand there, with my religious hat on and think, well that’s just fake and conjured up.
There were times this week, if I’m being honest (more than a few times, most of the time actually) that I was frustrated, angry, mystified, desperate, confused, empty and numb. It took a week for me to realize something vitally important. I came for Him, not them.
It took me a week, to close my eyes on the activity around me, to humble myself before God and acknowledge that I don’t know Him as well as I’d like. To stop caring about what expression should be on my face, how high my arms should be raised, what position I should assume and where I should be situated in the room. To stop focusing on my own perceived spiritual lack.
It took me some time to realise, none of that matters. It is my greatest privilege to build and strengthen my personal history with God. To rest in the fact that I am his daughter and cease dwelling on what that should look like. To let go of striving after Him desperately out of my lack of knowing Him, but to hunger after Him because of the abundance which can be found in Him. Who am I to judge the validity of someone else’s faith, or even to judge my own faith actually. I have had the wrong focus.
When I realised all this last night in church and let go, I felt instant peace and a sweetness in the room.
So this is my new challenge, to build and strengthen a personal history with God, trusting in His great abundance for me, His promises, His goodness, His great love for me…..rather than my lack.