I have the privilege of serving at a youth pastors convention this week. It’s long days, spent standing the majority of the time. I get to be the source of most knowledge for the convention delegates. They come with questions and I deliver answers. It’s not a swammy type of situation where I would be wearing a shiny turban on my head, but when they are looking for a seminar location or have come in the wrong entrance and are looking for check-in, I give them directions to get there.
The convention is in my home town, in fact I live 18 blocks away from the convention center, but I am staying in a hotel across the street. It’s much easier to walk across the street to crawl into bed after standing for 12+ hours, then walk the 18 blocks to crawl into bed. Because the convention is here, I have a great opportunity to brag all over the city that I love!
But with all the bragging that I am doing, and sending business to all my favorite restaurants (most of which are locally owned), there are those folks who walk by my in the convention center lobby with looks anxiousness on their faces. Looks of being lost, and not just because they can’t find the entrance to the main event or the bathroom. (Although the looks for those who can’t seem to find the closest bathroom is a somewhat serious situation!)
There is an anxiety in some looks. Because some folks have come with great expectation of change. Change of attitude or change of heart… they still have arrived with the expectation of change. Some have come with broken hearts. No matter if it’s because of sin on their part or the part of others, there they come here broken. And even others have arrived empty. They have poured every last ounce of who they are and what they had into the kids they minister to.
No matter what we have arrived here with, lack of something or an abundance of other things, we are all looking for the best possible experience. We are all expecting to experience God in big ways. The hardest part in that expectation, is realizing that our own anxiety can be the very things that prevents us for truly experiencing what God has in store over the next couple of days. Setting aside all that we need to in order to fully experience God in real and tangible ways this week requires us to give all our anxiety to him and to fully expect him to do great things in our live.