Sorry I haven't been back to post since I've gotten back from the World Discipleship Summit. I get home, head back to work, and quickly slip into the daily grind routine. But that's how it goes, isn't it? We feed off of a short-term hype and lose that feeling as soon as "life happens" and the hype is gone.
I remember back when I was in a different campus ministry and we'd have our semester retreats. It would be a weekend full of fun, the Word, and little sleep. We'd worship together Sunday morning before heading back down the mountain (literally) and back to school. So what do you think the main topic of discussion was on Saturday night? Was it sharing the good times from the last two days or reminiscing on retreats gone by? No, it was planning the post-retreat party: who would host, who would pick up the keg, and whether or not the new couples that hooked up would consummate their relationships.
That dichotomy would be fresh in my mind every retreat afterwards when I would fight, and lose, against this hypocrisy. When I was baptized later in another campus ministry, I remember being skeptical of their annual campus retreat, fearful of history repeating itself. Yes the buzz from the retreat eventually went away, but here I was surrounded by a group who was committed to actually living out the commands of Jesus- which is what drew me to this ministry to begin with.
So it is now Thursday and San Antonio is 1400 miles in my rear view mirror. The hype is definitely gone. But is my commitment?
Maybe for you the commitment wasn't there to begin with. Maybe you were dragged to the Summit by some friends and weren't really into it. Or maybe you were engrossed in the hype and put on your best religious face to fit in but your heart wasn't really into it.
If you think that couldn't possibly describe you, let me ask: how were your quiet times while you were in San Antonio? Personally, my schedule was too packed, and I was too tired to make sure I took the time to spend quality time with my Lord and Savior. Yes I read my Bible. And yes I prayed... here and there. But I never once grabbed another brother and said, hey let's go pray! I never woke up early just to make sure my soul was refreshed before starting the day. And I look back and honestly feel like I missed out on something because of it.
Or maybe there is a sin that you keep hidden way down in the deep dark parts of your heart. There were plenty of opportunities to be open last weekend, but it's hard to seek freedom when you are enslaved. Consider the urban legend of hotel pornography rentals doubling whenever there is a religious conference (I tried real hard to find a source to verify this, and though I found this oft-cited anecdote all over I could not find any real data to back it up). Or the actual statistic (that I found in more than one place) of 50% of men viewing pornography within one week of attending a Promise Keepers event. (And if this is your struggle, I highly recommend visiting xxxchurch.com)
So again, it has been a week since we first worshipped together. How is your walk with God today? Where is your level of commitment to the purpose stirred in your heart "on the Mountain of the Lord"?
I am grateful for my family to keep me honest. My son, knowing I spent the past week at a church conference, has been peppering me with questions along the lines of what is God made of and where is the Garden of Eden. My wife, convicted not only from the worship she viewed online but also from her own personal study, is committed to sharing her faith daily. My family calls me higher. But you may not have that same blessing. Do you have roommates to keep you accountable? Do you have an unbelieving spouse that is skeptical of all of this to begin with? We are all in different stations in life, so it will take different efforts to not lose the inspiration we received last weekend.
So I ask again for the last time, how is your heart now that the thrill of worshipping together with 18,000 brothers and sisters from all over the world is only a memory? What are you going to do today to keep the glory of God, reflected by you, from fading? (1 Corinthians 3:12-18)