like a deer in the headlights

   I spent this past week up in the glorious mountains at the 126th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church.  Oh yeah, and the Feast, which was also fun.  In case you don’t know, the Feast is an event for families, it happens every three years and consists of worship, family activities, learning experiences and time to refresh your soul.  The Annual Meeting is for church delegates and pastors to get together and do the business side of running a denomination.  There’s voting, ordaining, remembering, updating and lots and lots of corny jokes.
My role for the weekend was basically to do whatever the Events staff needed done.  It included checking people in, driving shuttles, picking up Starbucks VIA, ushering, greeting, moving boxes, and a variety of other jobs.  There was also worship and lots of fancy phrases like, “I move to resolve…” and “All in favor say ….”  But for me there were much more important moments.
I was looking forward to this time in Estes Park mostly because I was going to get the chance to hang out with some very good friends that I had missed during my first few weeks of summer.  However, I had no idea how much fun I would have and how renewed I would feel after this week (Or how tired I would be after helping with these events…seriously, so tired).
There were a lot of fun moments, including going on the zip line through through the mountain scenery with some dear friends, worship, sharing some of my story in front of a very large crowd of people, sharing laughter with friends that were new and old, and even some trips to Starbucks.
However, probably the most significant time was spent processing some of my recent discoveries about the last year of life.  This happened in various ways, with others and by myself and I’m thankful for all of them.  Being home this time has been much harder than past times.  I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Colorado no longer really feels like home.  I’m realizing that the life that I built in Chicago is a significant one.  I’m involved in a church, I have friends who wade though the depths with me, I go to school, I (sort of) have a job … I have a complete life.  And that’s not to say that I don’t love Colorado, or that I don’t love the people here.  It’s merely to say that I am different then I was when I lived here and this is more of a place that I visit than a place that I live.
Life is meant to be lived alongside others.  I am so very thankful for the people that God has placed in my life this year.  Even if some of them are moving on from Seminary and even if my community will look differently next year than it did this year, I am excited to get back to Chicago and see what God has for this year.  It should be a good one.
This past week was full of moments where I could do nothing but stand in awe at God’s work in my life and the lives of my friends, and in awe of his love for us.  It almost felt like I was a deer in the headlights, as though I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe, all I could do was stare at his glory.  Those moments in life are the kinds of things that keep me in check.  Keep me smiling and trucking on when things are harder than they should be, harder than God intended them to be.  Because this life…it’s unfair at times.  And in those times it’s good to reach back and see where God has been faithful to you.

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