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Youth Group trip
Sometimes you wonder if you made the right decision. Sometimes you are fairly certain you made the wrong decision. And yet, somehow the wrong gets righted.
Our trek to Kearney for our Youth Group Event was such a time. I had prayed that God would either have the weather be perfectly good or really bad so the decision to travel or not would be a no-brainer. That didn’t happen.
We left home with snow pellets just starting to bounce off the road and weather reports showing only rain and higher temps beginning around Brownlee. Decisions to at least go to Nenzel and then at least to Valentine led to thinking we could be slow and careful and would gradually run out of the storm the further South we went. That didn’t happen either.
By Brownlee, the snow was deeper, the roads slicker and the visibility poorer. After a sashay or two on the other side of the road and a near miss with a little blue car in front of us, silence replaced the earlier joyful chatter of my young occupants. A pickup truck with a U-Haul behind jack-knifed on our side of the ditch, brought me to the conclusion that, indeed, we had made a bad decision.
Thedford finally appeared and, lo and behold, the roads were clear and only wet. Praise God! At the welcomed gas station stop, Pastor Kurt said, “We may have made a bad decision, but many times in adversity our faith grows the most.”
It was so. Our amazing God revealed Himself over and over again that day. It reminded me that many times in God’s economy, what seems foolish and coincidental in the eyes of the world becomes inspiring and wonderful in the eyes of His seekers.
Dangerous roads became normal but our arrival time was much later than intended. Our later arrival time could mean waiting to play laser tag or not playing at all since after three o’clock on Friday is normally a busy time. Lo and behold, a group was just finishing. We would be able to start right away. After signing in as Ninja Chick, Shadow, Tinchin, Bob, D Danny, Coler and other equally original names, each team battled closely for bragging rights. (Well, maybe it wasn’t really that close, but the losing team had an older lady that could only muster a 2% shooting accuracy) Laser tag was definitely the bomb!
On to supper, with only an hour to make the Todd Becker Foundation Event early so our free book could be signed by Lee Strobel, famous author of The Case for Christ. We had decided the book would be the perfect “thank you” gift for the Ravenscrofts, provider of our tickets. Fifteen people don’t always make it through a restaurant that fast during supper hour but, lo and behold, we had the best waitress ever. We were out in record time.
Arriving at the event, time allotted for the book-signing was over but, lo and behold, we were told there would be signed copies of the book to be picked up after the event was over.
After worship music, a talk by Keith Becker and keynote speaker, Lee Strobel, and an unplanned, spirit-led time of prayer, our lives were no longer the same. We were challenged to become bolder in sharing our faith. We were challenged to make God the priority of our lives. We were reminded how much young people especially need Jesus to light their way at a key point in their lives, high school. “What if the Todd Becker Foundation had showed up at my high school?” Lee Strobel asked. His years of atheism, alcoholism, and anger might not have been.
Wondering on the way down if we might have to stay in Thedford for the night, lo and behold, we sailed home on dry roads.
What if we hadn’t taken the risk and stayed home? Would we have seen God’s protection over us on those poor road conditions? Was it really just coincidence that kept our car from hitting the little blue car with the baby inside? Was it really just coincidence that made Kurt stop and clean his wiper blades off, slowing him down a few minutes so that his car wasn’t topping the hill at the same time the pickup truck and U-haul were sliding across his lane? Was it really just coincidence that everything went so smoothly once we arrived in Kearney? Was it really just coincidence that John purchased 15 tickets before we knew how many of us would be going and that was exactly how many we needed? I think not. I believe the God we do our best to serve was answering the prayers of those who prayed for us all day.
Had we stayed home, would our thought process have been changed by what we gleaned from hanging around 2000 other Christians whose passion for Jesus set out hearts on fire? Would we have connected with one another in a way that happens only when believers seek God together?
Sometimes you have get out in the storm to witness the hand of God. Sometimes you have to take a risk to realize how He is in the midst of every detail of your life. Sometimes you have to make what looks to the world like a bad decision to be reminded that sharing the hope we have in Jesus with even one lost soul is worth every sacrifice you might have to make.
Our decision truly was a good one, a very good one.
Respectfully Submitted by Janet Parkhurst