Anna all dressed up for the Young Life hoe down!
Yesterday I was hanging out with my boy Devon at the coffee shop when I got a text message on my phone from a friend which said, “Do you know what today is?” I read the message and thought to myself, “October 18… Thursday… hmm.” I texted back, “No.” A minute later my phone buzzed again and his message read, “Three years ago today I accepted Christ.”
Three years ago one of my best friends in the whole world got married. He was one of my first friends in Oak Ridge when I moved here in third grade and we have been really close ever since. As far back as I can remember, we’ve never had so much as a cross word, let alone a fight, but when I told him that I wouldn’t be able to be in his wedding or even go to it because I was going to be spending that weekend at a Young Life camp, we didn’t talk for six months. It was a really hard time for me because I obviously wanted to be there for him on his big day, but I felt called to Young Life and I was committed to going to camp with my guys.
The only thing that could have made me feel worse was the fact that Windy Gap was a total bust. Our kids were crazy the whole weekend and it didn’t feel as if I had gotten anywhere spiritually with the guys in my cabin. I came home down in the dumps because not only had I missed the wedding and possibly lost my friend, but it felt like it was all for nothing. I was hanging out on Monday sulking when I got a phone call from this kid… He said, “I need to talk. Can you meet me somewhere?”
We met up and he told me about how all of his friend’s lives were changing and how they loved God and loved to read His word, but he just didn’t get it. He told me that he wanted to understand that passion his friends had… he had even tried to read the Bible and pray, but he just didn’t feel anything. I asked him, “Is it possible that you’ve just never really trusted in Christ for yourself? Maybe you don’t feel anything because you’ve never really believed in Him.” He looked at me and said, “What do I do?”
What followed next was without question the coolest thing that I get to do in my work with high school kids. We spent the next forty-five minutes talking about what people were supposed to be, what has happened to us and what God has done about it in the person of Jesus. We talked about his life and his questions and then we came to it… the moment where he looked at me and said, “I want that. I want to pray right now.”
In Young Life, they have a thing called the “Say So” at camp where everyone who has given their lives to Christ stands up on the last day in front of everyone at camp and “says so.” It comes from Psalm 107 which says, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” I think text messages count too.
3 years ago