Sometimes we need a reminder. I got a well-needed reminder last weekend at the National Youthworkers Convention in Pittsburgh. I stood in the back of the room as Mark Yaconelli issued the reminder from the main stage. Some of you heard it a few weeks ago in Sacramento. More of you will get to hear it in a few weeks in Nashville.
Mark challenged us to slow down, eliminate the distractions, get quiet, and look for God in unexpected places. He’s there. And isn’t it good to know that He’s there in the midst of our dark times? Mark told us about the turmoil and darkness of his middle school years as he was walloped by his parents’ divorce. It was the late 1970s. Mark retreated to his room. He escaped into his trusty 8-track player, his K-Tel Disco 8-Track, a polyester clad John Travolta, a set of headphones, and the opportunity to dance through his pain. Mark sees it as a gift from God. Mark’s message came through loud and clear. I thanked him for it later, and I’ve been trying to slow down and experience God’s revelation of Himself that is so evident in His world that surrounds me. By the way, if you’re going to be at the NYWC in Nashville, don’t you dare skip out on Mark Yaconelli’s talk. . . . and stay until the very end!
Today I woke up to one of our patented Pennsylvania cloudy fall days. The sky’s been gray. But as I walked to the car the beauty of the neighbor’s tree caught my eye. There it was. In the midst of the darkness of the morning and the death that is fall. . . . there was beauty. No human could conceive of or create the intricacy of a tree nor the rhythm of the seasons that lead to the beauty of the fall that fills these parts this time of year. This is the doing of God and God alone.
No matter what happens in our world or our lives. . . . God is. . . . and He is in control.