Last night was the last night of the youth convention I have been attending in Orlando. It was kind of an eerie weekend. You see it is a convention that I used to direct back in the day. In fact one of the last conventions I directed was in the year 2000 in Orlando. I know pretty freaky, right?
The whole experience took me back ten years. The difference is that on the last night ten years ago, we were not able to do the traditional walk. You see, the convention has done a silent walk every year on the last night for at least forever.
So, ten years ago we planned the traditional walk. We had place 100’s of luminaries around the walk route and planned some fireworks at the end of the walk. We had spent a great deal of money to make the night memorable and were planning communion at the end of the experience.
But, that afternoon the rain hit and hit with a vengeance. All the luminaries were washed away and we were unable to put the sound equipment out for the worship and communion. All we had were the fireworks. But, what good is that when the whole purpose of the convention was “to create a moment for life change.”
So, we skipped the whole thing and stayed put. We let the fireworks go off without us. 6200 of us hung out together and worshipped… and amazing things happened that evening! And, we celebrated communion and the kids just let loose and shared freely and transparently. It was a night of spontaneous expression! It was incredible!
Last night, the same thing happened. No, it didn’t rain. And yes, the planners were able to pull off the walk. It wasn’t the trappings, the plans, or the coordination. It was the spontaneous reactions of students. It is their abandonment, their free spirit when they come together. It is their willingness to let God’s voice be heard.
I am learning to trust that God works even when our planning goes awry or when our planning goes perfectly. Ultimately, it isn’t the planning after all. It is our willingness to simply listen to that still small voice and respond freely! Cool stuff!! Incredible God!!