Saturday, November 17

A Quiet Afternoon

I've had a very quiet afternoon. After an intense day yesterday and this morning, I've had lots to think about and lots of ideas rolling around in my head. So I've taken the afternoon off just to rest, relax, and think through things. It's been good. This type of decompression has always been an important part of the Youth Specialties experience for me. It doesn't hurt that Marko, the President of Youth Specialties, encourages this sort of thing.

Andy and I went to the Labyrinth the first thing this morning. In fact, we were the first two people there. What a great experience. It's a guided prayer walk that has a number of stations with interactive things to do and to suggestions about ways to pray. The way in is designed to focus on the things that interrupt our relationship with God. Then the center is communion. The way out focuses on things we need to do and think about if we want to take God to the world around us. Walking and praying the Labyrinth is always a wonderful time to me. Each time I walk away with something different. This time, it helped eliminate some distractions and helped me find some peace with God. It was wonderful.

Phyllis Tickle spoke at this morning's general session. She was awesome. It was probably the first session that Andy and I decided we wanted a recording of to take home for some people who aren't here. She talked about how during the history of Christianity, there has been a major reformation of the thinking and practice of the Church about every 500 years. It has been about 500 years since the Protestant Reformation, and it now seems that we are at the brink of another of these reformations. To me, the most powerful things that she had to say were at the very end. She pointed out that each of these reformations in the past have been bloody. When you look back over history, you will see that they have caused wounds and divisions that have never healed. She encouraged us to do everything within our power to keep this from happening again. What she had to say resonated with a bunch of things that I have been thinking about for several weeks, and in particular the last day and a half.

Andy and I also spent some time in the Exhibit Hall this afternoon. We signed up for a bunch of giveaways, made a couple of connections, and found some cool things. There were also lots of things that were of any interest. We did have one experience that made us both uncomfortable. We signed up for a giveaway at a booth run by a missions organization. The man from the organization started asking if we are planning any missions trips during the next year. Andy listed 5 planned or potential missions trips. His basic idea was to try to convince this guy that we weren't really all that interested in his services. One of the places we named is a place that this man's company also operated. He asked who we booked our trip with, and we told him. He asked how our experience was. We told him it was fantastic (which might actually be an understatement of how good it was). He then said "oh," and proceeded to badmouth the company we worked with. Then, after telling us he wasn't trying to steal us away from the company we have worked with, he started listing the reasons why his company was better. Listen buddy. You can say "I'm not trying to steal you away" all you want. We all know that's EXACTLY what you were trying to do. That entire experience left a bitter taste in my mouth. Of course, if that's the worst thing that happens this trip, we won't really have anything to complain about.

No comments: