I’ve been trying to write this since Saturday and just haven’t been able to. I think that was partly by plan because had I written it when I first sat down to write it I would’ve missed out on a lot that makes this story so cool. Thankfully I waited because this version of the story is much better than the Saturday afternoon version of it.
I always say that if one kid has a positive, life-changing experience through a trip, event, or talk that I’m involved in then it’s worth it. One kid. I take just as much pride and enjoyment out of being a part of one kid experiencing life change as I would if that number were much higher. One kid is enough for me.
This weekend I had that one kid.
Going into the weekend I wasn’t sure how a couple of my guys would respond to AWAKE and how comfortable they’d be. Obviously I’d never been to it myself so I didn’t have anything to go by but I still wasn’t sure. On Friday night I spent extra time praying for those guys that God would make it a good experience and that they’d be comfortable or at least not uncomfortable in a way that distracted them.
God definitely delivered on that prayer.
On Saturday morning I saw one of these students a little more engaged than normal. I didn’t think much of it and just kept going on with the day. That afternoon we got to hang out and it was one of the first times that I’d really spent much time with him. He surprised the poop out of me doing rock climbing and the vertical obstacle course. That afternoon all of our guys and one of the sophomores played what I called Chinese Ping Pong and he looked like he was having a ton of fun. That alone was making me happy.
And then it got even better.
After we finished with the ping pong, I happened to be in our room with just him. I asked him how his prayer time went earlier in the day (everyone got a 10 minute prophetic prayer time where a couple prayed over them…really really cool experience for a lot of them). He perked up and said it was great and told me a few of the things that they had told him. Added to the earlier things, I was pretty happy with the way things were going for him.
And then it got even better.
After dinner we went into our night session. As the band was playing I looked over and saw this same student. He was there in his normal spot, but this time he was worshipping in a way that I’d never seen him worship before. He was singing every word. He had his eyes closed. He was raising his arms through the entire set. While watching him I could tell that he didn’t care who was around or what they thought of him. He was taking that time to spend with God and couldn’t have cared less what everyone else was doing.
At the end of that session we had a time where our leaders spread out around the room and students could come up to them and ask the leaders to pray for them. As I was standing there this student came walking up to me with a look on his face like he was completely sure of something. Before he even got to me he looked at me and said, “I’m through. I’m taking the internet off of my ipod. This weekend has been too great for me to screw it up again when I get home.” I had a huge smile on my face and hugged him. We prayed over what God had been doing with him over the weekend and prayed for God’s help when he got home so he could stick with what he knew he should do. I went to be that night extremely happy with the way things were going for him.
And then it got even better.
The next morning, after the session, we had communion. I was standing in the front of the room with the bread and the juice serving students as they came to get theirs. When this student walked up to me, before he even got to me again, he looked at me with a giant smile and said, “This has been the best weekend ever!”
That night we still had small group. About 2/3 of our guys didn’t get to go to AWAKE so we didn’t want to cancel group for those guys. At the end of our small group, we always do a thing we call “High Lows” where everyone says a high point from their week, a low point from their week, and then tells us anything they want us to pray for. This student said that AWAKE had definitely been the highlight of his week. Then, once we’d gone around the entire room, I asked if there was anyone who would want to open up the prayer to end group and then I would finish. Immediately this guy, who had said before he wasn’t really sure how to pray, raised his hand and offered to pray.
I was floored.
I was ecstatic.
I was a lot of positive emotions that I’m not sure how to describe.
A lot of times in ministry we get focused on the big picture and the big numbers and the perfect events and we let some of our students slip by. It’s not on purpose or anything, but some students simply don’t do as well in big environments. This past weekend was a great reminder that everyone matters. It was a reminder that one kid is all that it takes to be “worth it.” It was Jesus answering a prayer and doing something that I couldn’t even imagine him doing.
I knew he could move mountains. He reminded me of that very clearly on Saturday morning. He then spent the rest of the weekends proving it to me because I’m pretty sure he knew I’d start doubting him if I didn’t have proof.
He gave me proof.
God’s big. He’s really, really big. He can do things that are so far from our comprehension or imagination that I can’t even describe it. And I think he likes to show off sometimes. I think he likes to show us how big he is. I think a lot of us are afraid to ask him to show us though. We’re afraid that he won’t show us or we doubt that he is actually as big is he is and don’t want to get disappointed.
What mountain do you need moved?
What big thing do you want God to do?
Better yet, why haven’t you asked him to do it?
We serve a God that’s ginormous. I’m convinced that I need to start acting like that and believing it more.
Now I just have to do it.