This is a great story. It’s one of my favorites. This is the story of what some would call an adventure.
This past weekend, I went to Denton, TX with some friends to go to a retreat up there at Camp Copass. Now let me back it up a little here because the story doesn’t start there, it starts a few weeks back.
I am one of those people that will jump blindly into really scary situations,and will sometimes unkowingly do that, and basically that’s when I got a job in November. I work with a few pretty messed up kids, their dad’s are gone, or the family is split, and in some cases, I am the male that they have most contact with. That’s part one. Part two is this conference gets close, and I don’t want to go. But the people who are going are constantly presuring me to go. They’re saying things like “We’ll pay right now if you will pay us whenever you can! You should definitely go!” I told them “No! I don’t have enough money!” And they kept at it.
Here’s part 3. Now all these different parts are going to combine into different sections of the weekend, and different take-aways from the conference, but just let me get there first. When I go to work I sometimes stop by the chapel to check out and see what word God has for me that day. One day, after I had sinned rather badly, I prayed to him and asked him if I could be forgiven. He answered me when I woke up the next morning, with snowflakes flooding the field behind my dorm. This was as if to say “You are white as snow!” I went to work, I checked the verse of the day, and it was Jeremiah 33:1-3 which speaks of how the Lord, the creator of the earth mind you, came to Jeremiah when he was in bondage and said “Ask me, and I will show you great and unsearchable things that you do not know.” I had been lead to that verse by a feeling. A feeling. So I visited everyday for about a week, and the few times I visited that place, the things I read about, were actually not in the bible, I was guided to the wall to look at the prayer guide.
Now, tensions mount at work, as kids get further and further into their struggles, and come further and further out of them at the same time, the guys push harder. I find out that the main speech is going to a three part sermon series called “The Love Of The Father” I told myself, “Well, I think I should go, but I still don’t want to, but that’s exactly what I need to go there for. So I can be more father-like to those kids up at work.” I was legitimately scared to go to this bible thing, not having enough money was just a cover to try and hide under. I became a stress ball for about 2 weeks. I was so scared that they were going to force feed me bible verses, cram them down my throat, make me read the bible so much that I wouldn’t pick up a bible for another year. But they cracked me. I would have to pay them guys back. That got even more stress on my back.
I looked at the online registration form and one of the other things than the main speech was workshop time, and we could choose between prayer, discipleship, and life after college. Because of the chapel, I signed up for the prayer one.
To add on to that stress, I watched another sermon with 2 friends of mine, about how kids turn gay, and as it turns out, it’s because they’re sensitive, and dad isn’t he also doesn’t know how to deal with a kid like that. For a non-sensitive child its all good with them just to chill with their dad and watch TV. For a sensitive little guy, they need extra special attention. In fact I believe the guy said the three A’s:
Attention: eye to eye contact with meaningful conversation,
Affection: Yes it is manly to give out some hugs, just to the right people.
Affirmation: “Good job son!” Is actually good enough encouragement.
Anyways, he said that kids will start to look at guys differently through a series of chain reactions that directly corellate with the absence of all three of those above listed things from father. Then he proceeded to explain that for single moms the church is the best place for that boy of hers to find a father figure. So I said “sounds like I have a bit of a Job to do…”
Then Friday came. We left for Denton, and got there safely. Our speaker (named Eddie Broussard) delivered one of the most memorable sermons I have ever heard. My favorite point of his that night was “God was running around the rings of saturn with his son Jesus, thinking about you…… He’s gone so deep that ya know, its like he’s doin a 360 degree dunk while puttin tha ball between his legs and windmillin while he’s blowin his nose! That’s how much God can do!”
I realized that night, that I didn’t have to be a dad for these kids, but I do need to show the Love Of The Father, and exemplify myself as a man of God that will be beside them in their so far young walk with Christ. I will show the three A’s to all, but I will not carry the burden of being their father, because their Father in heaven wants to love on them, and he wants to do it through me!
I also realized that if the first night was that great, then I had a great group of loving people to be around and I was so glad that I went. All those worries that I had, all the stressing out, all the lies were knocked out that night, and that great burden of being a fatherly figure vanished, the weight floated off of my shoulders like angels were carrying it off and tossing it aside.
I was in store for a great weekend! There’ll be more tomorrow!