Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Challenge Conference - Round 1

There’s an old story about the concert pianist describing being prepared to play. He said if he missed a day of practice, he would notice the difference. If he missed two days of practice in a row, his mother would notice the difference. And if he missed three days, the world would know. I gave my first seminar of the week yesterday afternoon and felt rusty. Pat, about as unbiased as my own mom, felt my presentation was fine.

But as she and I both know, it’s not about how I “did” AT ALL. That’s what’s cool about serving God with whatever it is you happen to do. His strength shows through best in our weakness, his power in our feebleness.

I have to admit, I don’t have loads of experience talking to high school-aged students (even though rumor has it I was one once). So I can sometimes find their reactions as an audience hard to read. And yesterday was a lesson in my cluelessness in this arena. They were quite polite and participated in the discussion and exercises, but seemed to be lacking that spark I sense in listeners that says, “We’re engaged.”

Ha, shows you what I know!

At least a dozen of the participants came up to Pat or me one by one afterward to say, in essence, “God spoke to me through this presentation today.” Wow! And our big, earth-shattering message? Your creative talents are a gift from God to be used to know and serve your Creator better. Hardly an original thought, but it was like water on parched ground to some in attendance.

So, today’s shout out goes to – the creative-types in attendance yesterday. Thanks for your commitments to use your great talents for God’s glory. And to all of you who pray and give to make it possible for us to do this! You make a difference.

We’re at bat again this Thursday at 3:15. And Wednesday, Pat gets to meet one-on-one with the students who have submitted art for evaluation here at the conference. We’ll keep you posted.

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