Saturday, July 29, 2006
We talked of DaySpring. I know I've written of this place before, and many of you faithful readers know it as well if not better than I. But each of our experiences there are unique, so perhaps you will indulge me once again. I said to my friend that it was strange, all I had to do was to step onto the deck at DaySpring, that old wooden, weather-stained creation, and the memories came flooding back in a torrent. I don't even have to close my eyes to see beloved faces and hear voices raised up in prayer, song, and laughter. It was an innocent time, that's to be sure. I told her how I was now nominally in charge of the youth group at St. Mark's, and how there were none among their number who had yet been to Happening (this being the seminal event in my young life; a youth renewal weekend) at DaySpring. There are a couple of high school seniors for whom Happening can still have a powerful impact on their lives as they prepare to enter the jungles of college, but it is the younger ones, the sophomores and freshmen who are in abundance here at St. Mark's, who have not been, that I am most excited about. Some of them burn with a passion for God that puts me in mind of a place I used to be, a place to which I long to return, leaving far behind all the knowledge of theory taught at seminary. To return to experience of God and leave the professors to the talk of God. (This is not to say they don't also experience God, for they surely do.) I said to my dinner companion that they want to go to Happening, and I likely will be called upon to serve as Spiritual Advisor - imagine that! I said I was so excited for them. That my Rector said he thinks there is great potential to this group but he doesn't know how to tap into it. I paused in my excitement and said to her, "DO you see what I see?" She replied, "Light the fire."
We then talked ponderously about how this kind if thing seemed to us generational. That those who lit our fire, so to speak, were those self-same persons who in their youth had been touched by the fire of God at Happening, at DaySpring. We laughed as we remembered Chris Keith, God rest her soul, and Neil Keith, and Anna, and Jim, and Steve, and all of those leaders who showed us what they had experienced. And now the torch has been passed to us. SHe told me of how when she and another friend returned to their home parish not too long ago, the preacher paused in the middle of his sermon when he saw them, and said, "Hey! Look! It's THE youth group kids back!" Now, they were full blown adults, but still known as THE youth group kids. That's what we're talking about when we say generational. That for whatever reason, God saw fit to use our generation of people in a special way, and now it is time for us to give back. To light the fire again. Pray God, that what we were given, we may have the strength, the courage, the wisdom, and the love to give back in equal and greater amounts.
I guess Christian spiritual advisors must always advise non Christians to become Christians...