July 27, 2011

The End The Beginning

Well I hadn't intended to wait this long to write this Tidal Impact wrap up blog, but somewhere between late nights, driving home, church duties and family time I've made it to Wednesday. Oh well with a little more sleep under my belt I am bound to make more sense anyway.

Friday and Saturday were days of mixed emotions for me. On the one hand I was looking forward to going home, seeing my wife and children and sleeping in my bed. And yet I felt a profound sense of sadness. The past week had been a holy time. It was a time where we all felt God move in different ways and in different places. It was a time of ministry and service, a time of growth and stretching, a time of team building and friendship enriching. Like I said it was a holy time.

But eventually even Moses had to leave the burning bush in the distance.

Now that we have left that holy ground the question must be asked; what is next?. Tidal Impact 2013 is a little too far off to really start to get excited for, and August threatens to divide us, cool us down, and settle Tidal Impact 2011 squarely in our memories as a good and exciting week.

And therein lies the problem. If Tidal Impact 2011 becomes just a memory, even a memory of God moving it falls short of my hopes and prayers. And the hopes and prayers of those who made Tidal Impact happen.

Times like this are not meant to be ends in themselves, but beginnings.

So here is where I would like to challenge us to use our prayerful imaginations. We need to ask ourselves; what happened last week? Then once we have some handle on the past we must move and look forward to the future. We have to ask the questions; what has our experiences at Tidal Impact inspired us to do this week, this month, this youth ministry season, this year? The big question we have to try and answer is; where is God leading us now?

On Friday night I had the chance to see something I think was pretty amazing. We had a campfire on the beach, the driftwood cracked the way finely dried wood tends too. And as we looked to our left Grand Lake rolled a gentle surf on to the shore. The two sounds were incredibly peaceful in their rhythmic motions. Directly above us the stars stretched out twinkling and shining down on us, while the moon provided us with a lovely glow. Now all of this is nice, but hardly out of the ordinary. I have had lots of beach side campfires, and I could describe anyone of them like this. The thing that made it amazing to me was what was happening south of us.

While we enjoyed a starry night in Jemseg NB on the shores of Grand Lake, about 80 kms to the south a thunderstorm raged in Fredericton. Across the lake we watch lightening dance from cloud to cloud. We were  close enough to enjoy the light show yet far enough away to not be intruded on by the thunder and rain.

God was showing off.

For me it was a fitting send off. God's power and his peace were being displayed for us to see in nature. The week was closing. The mission tour was ending. The trip home was just hours off. But we were standing at a beginning point, not an end point.

God began a work in us during Tidal Impact. He set new things in to motion. Things I still know nothing about. But they will be great.

I pray that you will keep your eyes open in the coming days and weeks. As you reflect on the God moments you had, prayerfully consider the ones that still lay hidden in the future. Remember do not get so stuck looking back at what God did that you miss out on what God is doing.

Thank you Tidal Impact team, thank you Jemseg and praise God.