Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Colorado - Part II

Two things stand out to me about the two days we were stuck in Colorado.

The first is that we had lots of down time. Some of us took naps, some read, some played games or watched football. We visited, shopped, ate and played in the snow.

At one point my good friend Glenn Green said, "We usually can't wait until we have a day when there is nothing to do and when we finally get that day all we can think about is how we should be doing something productive."

This is an interesting thought. I am convinced that some of us (myself included) actually like being busy. Somehow we buy into this unspoken idea that if you are busier than I am that somehow you are also more significant. Somehow we think it makes us better to be busier. I understand that this is not a new idea. People have been struggling with this for years. It is just amazing to me.

We want to have a full inbox, or multiple voice messages on our cell phones. Somehow we get fooled into thinking that if we are so busy that we are running around town doing errands, working late, or staying up late working on something at home that somehow it makes us more significant. How ludacris is this idea? We think somehow we our better than others if our schedules our the busiest. No one would ever say this of course but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

I think some of us actually like being busy because when we are forced to slow down it means we may have to deal with our junk. We can drown out the noise pretty easily staying busy.

And as I sat in Salida, CO I was reminded again that there is such beauty in silence and slowness. This God, is the first thing I am thankful for during my days of being snowed in. Help me to remove noise in my life. I want to be validated by you alone.

The second thing that really stands out to me was our worship on Sunday morning. There were about 23 of us that chose to stay put and wait out the weather. Sunday morning came and we decided to gather for worship.

The time we spent was probably the highlight of the week for me. The worship simple, basic and raw. It felt like something that some of Jesus's earliest followers would have done. We didn't have an order of worship. We didn't have a song leader or preacher. Instead we all contributed. Young and old. Male and Female. We read scripture, prayed and shared the body and the blood of Jesus. We shared laughter, tears and challenged one another. We were honest and real with one another. Some shared blessings from 2006 and discussed things that they are anticipating God doing in 2007.

After we were done one thing that was particularly interesting to me was how few songs we actually sang. We spend much of time discussing a cappella or instrumental and yet I wonder if we were really involving ourselves in one another's lives how much we would even care. Singing or Preaching wasn't even the central focus of our time, as it usually is. Instead we allowed God's Spirit to lead us. It wasn't chaotic or confusing. It was simple. It was beautiful. People who never get a chance to share had that chance. (ie:teens and adults who some may consider more reserved) These types of individuals are never asked what they think. But this past Sunday there was no age or gender dividers. We experienced what Paul said to the Galatians that we are all children of God through our faith in Jesus.

Personally, I can think of no better way to bring in the New Year and no better way to end an awesome week playing in God's playground of Colorado.

Thank you Father for community. Thank you of preserving Your Bride through the generations. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your Kingdom. It is truly not of this world.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Colorado - Part I

The last week of my life was spent in God's playground in the incredible mountains of Colorado. A group of about 40 from church spent the week skiing at Monarch Mountain.

In all my years of skiing I can confidently say that the first two days (last Thursday and Friday) were the worst conditions I have ever skiied in. It was a total white out at the top of the mountain. Snow was coming down hard all day and the winds had to be blowing at 40 mph in some places on the mountain. Of course, this didn't stop us from attempting to brave the conditions. The sun finally came out last Saturday and it was a phenomanal day. The powder was deep and our group had a blast skiing together.

This, however, is where the week took an interesting turn. While weather was beautiful for our last day of skiing the storm that had pounded us during our first two days had made its way to Eastern Colorado and down into New Mexico. Roads were being shut down, people were already stranded on highways and roads across Colorado and New Mexico, grocery stores were running out of food, and people were being housed in emergency shelters.

After considering our options some of our group decided it was best to brave the conditions and head to Pueblo. They ended up being stopped there because all roads leading out of Colorado were shut down. The rest of us stayed put and spent Saturday night and Sunday in Colorado.........