It all started at 4:30 a.m. when I rolled out of bed, groggy and longing for a bit more sleep. Jamie Jo made sure the coffee was on the stove, and I stumbled out of the house to the van full of some of the creme of the crop staff we've hired for this summer season.
Our adventure…to road trip down through New Mexico, and find the easiest route to Arizona. Sounds pretty simple, right?
Well, as is most of my life, it was an adventure.
It all started about 30 minutes into the trip, when we were trucking through New Mexico. A Mule deer decided to jump out in the middle of the road, and I was faced with a dilemma. Either a.) try and swerve the van to miss the animal minding it's own business risking the stability of a loaded 15 passenger van, or b.) plow right through it and tear the van up by a high speed collision.
I swear I looked right in the deer's eyes, and saw the intention as we both tried to avoid one another, but my juke to the left, and it's jump the same direction…well, I think you get the picture.
I've never hit an animal that big, but today I broke my winning streak.
The van ended up ok, but the deer, well, I just hope there's a safe warm place deer go when they meet their end.
We traveled quite a ways through the desert of New Mexico, frequently looking out the window and wondering how in the world the people who live out there make it. There is literally NOTHING out there but sage and sand as you approach Arizona from the Southern part of Colorado. It's really amazing.
Then we crossed the boarder.
It was almost immediate that the brown turned to green, and the flat lands started revealing the mountains of Northern Arizona. What an awesome site!
The stories in the van, the fast food in my belly, and the anticipation of meeting up with old friends was enough to make the 8 hour drive seem like a blink in time.
We got to the wedding rehearsal and re-united with our old staff members and their families. What a thrill, to be in a position to be a small part of a wedding ceremony. The rehearsal went off without a hitch, and here we are back in the hotel room reflecting on what's about to go down in the morning.
I guess I can sum up this day with a heart full of thankfulness.
I'm thankful we made it down here safely.
I'm thankful for the stories in the van.
I'm thankful for plenty of laughs.
I'm thankful for great friends.
But most of all, I'm thankful that God has allowed me to play a role in watching a couple of my old students vow each other their lives.
It's another sacred honor and a privilege to lead a community of people into a deep relationship with Jesus, and subsequently watch as they go out and create other communities to do the same.
I'll never forget the words my old basketball coach told me when I decided to dedicate my life to ministry. He led our class in a Bible Study every Monday night. He spoke truth in the core of my life. He gave me the tools to work in close relationships. He taught me basketball. He showed me how to connect with people on a deep spiritual plane. And the last time I saw him he looked me in the eye and said, "Now go and do it better than I did it."
So tomorrow, I'm going to charge my friends to go out and Live Life in a relentless pursuit of truth. I'm challenging them to go and love each other well, so that the world can see the reason why we do what we do. And, I'm asking a community of relatives and friends to "Love what is good, Abhor what is evil, but above all, let Love prevail." (Col. 3:12-14)
Thanks for your prayers. Life is crazy right now with the move to Colorado, the start of a new camp season at K-Colorado, a new place to call home, and as we stand on the verge of starting a new ministry, well; we need a lot of prayer to cover all that's going on.
Lots more to come.
May we be a people to show the world the necessity of marriage.
May we take every moment captive, and live the life we have to the fullest.
May we remember the promises of God throughout the Bible that He will never "leave us or forsake us."
For how we live life on this journey is as an ambassadorship to the rest of humanity the love and faithfulness of a God who embodies the core of who we want to become. After all, it's not the the destination that counts, it's how we get there.