So, it’s 12:42 a.m. and I have no business starting a blog post right now. My eyes are half closed and my brain feels rather mushy…but it’s been so long since I’ve said hello (due to two weeks on vacation) that I just had to stop in and say hi.
I’m happy to report that the fam and I survived our 5 days in an RV at the Kingdom Bound Festival. I didn’t bring enough water and I brought too much of almost everything else. But it all worked out and it was a joy to watch my kids experience different aspects of the festival.
When I was a teen I went yearly to the Creation Festival in the middle of Nowhere, PA. It was over 50,000 people camping on a huge farm, listening to speakers and Christian bands for 4 days. Unlike Kingdom Bound, held at Darien Lake, there were no park rides to distract so it was a pretty intense 4 days. I always felt like God met me there and schooled me, in a good way. And of course, it was so much fun to see and hear all my favorite bands in one week. I love music so I adored the concert aspect of Creation Festival.
Fast forward many years and my two teens are at that same place. They love hearing the bands. They know the lyrics and they sing along. They dance and sometimes close their eyes and just listen. Then there’s the younger two. I’ve never brought them to the concerts before so the first night of Kingdom Bound this year was a little rough. Casting Crowns (a favorite of mine and Bill’s and our teens as well) was playing and “Ten” and “Seven” just wanted a snack and a drink. Then they wanted to play on their iPods. Then they needed to use the restroom. Then a question every thirty seconds like, “Why can’t we go back to the campsite?” “Are we having S’mores tonight?” “Did you bring my iPod?” It was so frustrating. I thought I had prepared them. I had told them we really wanted to hear the band. They know most of the songs because I’ve played them in the car for years. It really should not have been so hard. Yet it was.
It was reminiscent of the Sunday mornings when everyone is at each other’s throats to the point that I start whispering through my clenched teeth, “Everyone shut up and get in the van, NOW…we are going to CHURCH.” You know what I’m talking about. Please tell me you’ve had those mornings and I’m not the only one!
So I’m standing on our strategically placed blanket, alternating between clenched-teeth-scoldings of my kids and singing songs about praising Jesus. The irony was not lost on me. That was night one. At that point I wasn’t sure this vacation idea was wise.
But the second night of concerts (ending with Switchfoot…awesome) was much better. “Ten” got it. He started listening and singing along. By night’s end, he was dancing like a maniac with two fellow maniacs who were 12 and 22 years old and he was having a blast. (Are mosh pits still a thing? Cuz that’s kind of what it made me think of…a small little mosh pit in front of our blanket.) It was so fun to watch. Of course, “Seven” still wasn’t into it. I mean occasionally he’d dance or sing a little. But mostly he wanted to know what he could have to eat and when we were going back to camp. Unless he had the frisbee with him…then he would occupy himself on the hill for a good 30 minutes.
As I watched “Ten” slowly figure out what all these concerts were about, I was reminded that we are all somewhere on the growth curve. In whatever lessons God is teaching you right now, the important thing is to be moving forward. You don’t have to worry about perfection, just about progress. Move forward. You may be at a place like my teens, where you totally get what God is showing you. You may be like “Ten” just starting to learn…and enjoy…the dance. Or you may be like “Seven” who still doesn’t get it. He would rather be up on the hill throwing the frisbee around, occasionally listening to a song or two. But at least he’s there and as I look at my older three I know “Seven” will eventually “get it” too. I have to remember where he is in the process and be patient with him, just like God is patient with me.
How about you…is there someone you need to be more patient with as they learn what God is teaching? Are you that someone? Can you look back and see how far you’ve come instead of always looking ahead at how far you have to go? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Now it’s 1:22 a.m. and I really must get to bed. It was nice to “chat” a bit with you all again tonight.