I woke up on the first day of 2013 in a rustic motel in Crestline, California. Crestline is a sweet, little berg nestled into a section of the San Bernardino Mountainside. It had snowed the day before: a wet snow that insisted on turning from liquid to solid when the evening set in.
Just up the road from Crestline is the Thousand Pines Retreat Center. Waiting for us there, 270 students/young adults from all over the US and Canada depended on us to be Papa and Mama during this spiritual pilgrimage, preparing them before pushing them out of their nests in these treetops. They sing praise with abandon. They cry out loud before The Lord when they pray in honest repentance. Their need of us makes me want to be my best before God. They make me want to be a better person.
Their questions are raw, their eyes probing. They want the Truth, then they can accept or reject that Truth. It is an incredible responsibility. It can even be overwhelming. I want so much for them. I want them to have trust, to have joy, to have peace. I want them to believe me when I say, "Don't settle in anything you do....don't settle in your relationships, in your goals, or in your pursuit of God."
I want them to believe me when I tell them to take responsibility for their decisions and to plan for their futures. I want them to see their value in the world and in the Kingdom. I want them to believe that they can overcome the past, keeping its lessons and discarding its baggage! I want them to realize their potentials, while appreciating the sacrifices made to get to the present. I want them to see that God truly does have a wonderful plan for their lives, and He will be faithful to see it completed in them.
Actually, what I want for them is what I want for myself this new year...I intend to follow my own advice, for once!
Happy New Year!