At this moment, while I write this, we’re driving away from Caronport on our journey back to Ridgewood from Abundant Springs. Situations like this have an interesting tone because there’s such a mix of activities happening. Some of the youth somehow still have some energy to talk and have all sorts of fun while others are already asleep. Some are simply taking time to be quiet, to reflect on what we’ve heard and experienced, while some share stories of things they did, pants that were ripped—that was, to my knowledge, just me—and new ideas that they’ve heard.
For the last four days we’ve stepped off of the path we regularly tread to adventure in new land and today we return to that familiar path. But we don’t return the same. We return to the path with our minds filled with the experience of the new land. In some way we’ve changed, but that change has not yet taken root. The permanence of that change will be decided by how it is that we choose to walk on the familiar path.
We heard from Sid Koop this weekend about how we were once dead in sin but are now alive in Christ. We’ve heard about what it means to have an authentic and living faith. But tonight, tomorrow morning, this next week, these are the times that will decide how it is that these experiences will shape how we walk.
My encouragement is this: choose one thing.
It’s easy to come away from four sessions and four workshops (as well as everything else!) with piles of ideas and things we might do to continue to grow in our faith. The problem is that it’s so very difficult to focus on completing all sorts of goals at the same time. But, by choosing one thing we devote a significant portion of our mind to staying true to a practical way we can grow in our faith.
And that practical thing may be just about anything. It might be journaling, it might be a specific practice of prayer or reading the Bible, or maybe finding time for solitude and silence. There are a lot of great ways that we can intentionally place ourselves before God to be transformed by him. Just as we heard from Sid this weekend, “we become what we behold.” A proper response to this weekend is to take time to make a plan to behold God.
Make that plan as specific as possible. Deciding you want to read your Bible regularly is a good thing, but it’s hard to know if you’re really succeeding in that goal. What does ‘regularly’ mean? It’s far easier to know if your following through on reading your Bible each day for 10 minutes, for example.
The second piece to this plan is to find someone to partner with. Find someone that will hold you accountable to that plan. This might be as simple as asking someone to check in every few days to see how your Bible reading has been going or maybe you’ll meet once in a while to talk about your goal. Either way, what’s important is the accountability we have to continue on in this new way.