My sister-in-law, Brooksie, invited me to tag along with her to a weekend conference. Where? Daytona Beach. How could I say no to that? Brooksie has lots of wonderful qualities, two of which are “no guilt” and “no expectations,” so I knew this would be a true Sabbath weekend. And that is what it has been.
This morning, as I walked the beach, the lifeguard emergency vehicles came racing with their sirens blaring. Up ahead, I could see a crowd gathered. Since this is off-season, there are no crowds, so I knew something was up. As I got closer, I could hear a lot of cheering. Given the television news of late, I wondered if I was approaching some kind of demonstration.
Then I looked toward the water and saw what the fuss was about. Seven baptism stations…all occupied.
The youth group from Faith Assembly of God, Orlando, was concluding their weekend youth retreat with 300 baptisms. 300! For about 20 minutes, I attended Faith Assembly of God and found renewed hope for the future.
The lyric,“There’s nothing too dirty, that you can’t make worthy. You wash me in mercy, I am CLEAN!” kept running through my head. If Brooksie had been with me, she would have started singing. I’m guessing they would have joined her.
I have been on a Facebook fast, feeling convicted to spend more time praying. Facebook was stealing far too much of my time and my joy. The prayer that drove the fast is “Lord, send a revival to our college campuses.” As I stood watching the celebration this morning, I wondered if the answer to my prayers was starting right where I was standing – with the youth group at Faith Assembly; a revival that could spread to college campuses and maybe even reach some too-long satisfied, saved, sanctified, sour adults. Wouldn’t THAT be something!
As I turned to walk back to our hotel, I saw the lifeguards pulling a man out of the surf. I learned he was a near drowning, after being sucked into the undertow. My eyes took in his jeans, his leather belt and the look in his eyes as he walked past me to the lifeguard station. I couldn’t help but wonder if his too-far walk into the sea was accidental or purposeful.
The lyric to another song, one the teens would not recognize, began playing in my mind.
This morning I witnessed one near drowning and 300 safe…and I was reminded, once again, that the 300 are mine to celebrate. The one? He is mine too. Luke 15 reminds me that Jesus leaves the 300 to find the one.
Who is your “one” this week? Who is mine?