Hope you all had a wonderful week with God – unpacking some of those offenses and making a key decision to move forward with God, no matter what.
Today I wanted to share with you an experience I had just Monday.
I took a brief but meaningful road trip – a journey.
It was concert time! My sister was taking her two daughters and their friend (who feels like another niece to me) to a concert which was about two hours from where we live. I think it is safe to say that it is their absolute favorite group.
And immediately, I felt somewhat connected to their experience –
If for no other reason than the fact that my niece talks about the group … often!
All the way to the concert we listened to the music from this group.
They were full of anticipation: looking beautiful, eyes bright, cameras in hand, sporting t-shirts and/or jewelry which identified with the band – and carry along some items that they made.
One of my nieces took the initiative to make reservations at an eatery adjacent to the concert venue. Now, let me say, my sister is a brave woman to let a sixteen year old make dinner reservations for the five of us, site unseen – no knowledge of the vicinity, the quality of food, the ambiance of the establishment or the prices. Yes, only one thing mattered when it came to the dinner dining selection – if you ate there, you could get into the concert before everyone else. But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
The drive up was great. Traffic was light and I was at the wheel because my sister who is a nurse had worked over twelve hours the night before and had only two hours of sleep.
The pressure was on. I had to make sure that I did not get us lost and make sure they actually made it to dinner and the concert on time. Unfortunately, we did get off track for a bit. However, we eventually made it to the hotel, quickly dropped our items, they got 'dolled-up' and we all got ready to head the restaurant.
Halfway down the road, there comes an announcement from the rear of the mini-van: ‘I forgot the bracelets!’ And these were not just any bracelets. These were bracelets that they made for the group.
Now we were faced with a dilemma.
Yet, ever resourceful, my niece came up with a solution. Continue on with the 15-20 minute drive to the restaurant – so they could make the 5pm reservation and still secure their early admission. And then, my sister and I could drive back to the hotel while they were eating, get the bracelets, and then go back to the other side of town before the concert began at 8pm.
Yeah right! That was not happening. Bad enough having to taxi to and fro – but much worse when you have to do it in a city that you are unfamiliar with, all while facing pressing time constraints.
So we did a u-turn and went back to the hotel, they got the bracelets and we went on our way. We finally reached the block where the concert venue and restaurant were. Anticipation in the air!
You have to love being around teenage girls. They are full of a kind of giggling excitement and enthusiasm that I do not get to experience as the mother of three sons.
Well we parked the car and as we rounded the corner to go to the restaurant, I immediately noticed two lines: one in front of the restaurant, and the other in front of the concert venue.
Thankfully, our reservation and the fact that part of our dinner party had already arrived, put us to the front of the line and inside the restaurant after about a three minute wait.
The other line – the line in front of the venue – made me do a double take. It was 5:10pm and the concert was not scheduled to start until 8pm. And people were lined up and waiting, outside in the cold.
It was about 37-degrees!
We got in the restaurant and met up with the rest of our party – a friend that my niece had met on Tumblr, her friend and her mom. They had the coolest t-shirts on that they had made – such detail, looked good enough to sell. They were all so enthusiastic - and committed!
The waitress said that some of the people had been outside since 10am! Again, the concert was not scheduled to start until 8pm and it was thirty-something degrees outside.
Our teenage group – they could not drink too much at dinner. They would not want to miss one moment of the concert, of being in the presence of the group. They went to the restroom and put paint on their faces. And, as they finished eating and got in line for their early admission, my sister and I headed back to the hotel … to rest … and await their call for us to pick them up.
The call finally came around midnight. "Mom, you just don't even know!!!!" They had a blast, the concert was over but they were waiting to talk to one more member of the group. So we headed out.
Only, by now, there was drizzle and much of it had created a sheet of ice on the van. We made it to the venue and we see a bus - the band's bus - and a few faithful, standing outside waiting. Among them were my nieces and their friend.
IT WAS FREEZING!!!!!
But they could not leave.
They had unfinished business – despite all they had accomplished that day.
- They made it through the last day of mid-term exams
- Got all of their stuff together for the trip
- Endured the two-hour drive out of town
- Got into the restaurant which secured an early concert admission
- Survived the throng of concert goers, without being completely crushed
- One niece got to go on stage during one of the songs
- They got some concert souvenirs
- Got a compact disc and a camera signed by a member of the group
- They got pictures with a member of the group
- Successfully delivered their gift and letter to another member of the group
And now they were waiting … waiting to say hello to that last group member before he got on the bus and they all headed off to the next city.
THE STREETS WERE DESERTED
The majority of those faithful concert goers had gone.
They had their fun and moved on.
Yet there was this group that remained.
Here they were braving the elements, waiting, just to say ‘hello!’
So, my sister and I parked the van and waited … for about an hour!
Some that were there when we pulled up decided to leave. And they looked mighty cold as they walked to the parking garage to retrieve their vehicles.And then there was a very small group which remained. Probably about twelve people … and they did not leave until the last member of the group got on the bus and the bus pulled off.
Then the three little frozen teens got into the van and talked all the way back to the hotel. And they continued to talk at least until 2am when they left our hotel room and went to theirs. When we got up in the morning, they were still talking about the night before. And as we journeyed back home, the music of their group filled the mini-van … as they slept.
SO WHAT DOES ANY OF THIS HAVE TO DO WITH JOURNEY 201¦1?
These young people are … COMMITTED!
My nieces, their friend, the friend they met online and many of the other concert goers - they have a deep affection for this group.
So I ask this question –
HOW COMMITTED ARE YOU … TO THE OBJECT OF YOUR AFFECTION?
- Do you study His lyrics so that you know His Word by heart?
- Do you shout it out with joy from the top of your lungs?
- Do you share your passion with anyone who will listen?
- Would you travel two or more hours to be in His presence?
- Would you wait ten or more hours, in the cold, just to see Him?
- Do you invest your time, energy, resources and finances?
- Do you invest your heart?
- Do you come bearing gifts for Him?
- Or do just show up with a list of gifts you would like to receive?
- Do you do anything different than anyone else to get His attention?
- Would you adjust even your eating habits to ensure nothing interrupts your time with Him?
- Would you wait for Him … in the freezing cold … just to say hello?
- Would you be one of the faithful dozen to watch Him leave and anxiously await His next visit?
- Are you so filled with joy and excitement that you can’t wait to tell everyone you know about Him and your experience with Him?
So many questions to ponder.
I know I am thinking about them all.
As you think about your journey with God – you might want to toss them about too.
Praying that God will bless you abundantly!