This morning when I woke up, I had the strangest song in my head. It's an old song, one that instantly reminded me of the days of summer camp. Here is a version sung by Leeland, and I'm sure that most of you will recollect it instantly.
Once upon a time, that song was sang every summer by camp kids all over- of that I have no doubt. But listen to it! At the time, when we all sang it, we were all so moved by it... there may have been tears, but we sang it with passion, with fervor, and we made that declaration. That declaration that we will follow Jesus no matter what! And then we went home from summer camp "changed forever", although just a few days later it was life back to normal and camp was but a distant memory.
Now let's read a few more verses from Luke, chapter 9.
"He said to another man, "Follow me."
But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
60Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
62Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Luke 9:59-62
No turning back. The problem we all had in the summer camp days was that we turned back. Just days after we sang "No turning back" and "though none go with me" we turned back to what was normal for us at the time. How many of us, even now, could sing these words, read these verses, and then move forward, without turning back.
I just think... how many times are we going to say, "wait Lord, I'd like to do this first. Then I'll follow you." How many times are we going to look towards heaven, desire His presence in our life, but then ignore the Bible on the shelf, or the quiet time that simply beckons?
I think that there were an awful lot of us "back in the day" who sang that song at summer camp. And I suspect there are an awful lot of people who sang that song, who maybe aren't even active with their faith at all. But I say that an awakening is coming. An awakening like what I experienced this morning. Where on earth did that song come from? I have no idea, but as it rolled through my head I felt it course through my veins, as if it had awakened something that had been in a deep slumber. I say that all those who sang this song once upon a time are going to remember their words, remember their promise, and it's going to burn like fire in their veins, and they're going to want nothing more than to take up their cross and follow Jesus for real.
I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back. I can only go forward at this point, and I can't wait to see how the journey progresses.
I'll be taking an extra day off this weekend, and not posting tomorrow. We have a conference this weekend, and I'm really excited about it. I think this is the first time that we'll be attending a conference at our church without something...pressing... that we want to hear from God about. It's exciting! Every time we've spent the weekend in His Glory, we've received wonderful answers to questions or directions for situations, and this weekend, we just get to go expecting to get closer to God. I'm so excited to not have some big looming decision or idea trying to suck my focus elsewhere!
And I also want to add for anyone who is interested, that the conference this weekend is being streamed online for free! (Of course, if you live locally, attendance is free and you are most welcome.) Services are Thurs. at 7:00 pm; Friday at 10:00am, 2:00pm, and 7:00pm; Saturday at 10:00am, 2:00pm, 7:00pm; and Sunday at 10:30am, 6:30pm, all at central standard time. Click on this link here to the church, and then to the left is a button for "watch services live" and it will take you there. It's going to be a great time! I'll be back on Monday, have a wonderfully blessed weekend.