My son called it “Christian Coachella” (rude!), but it’s actually JoshuaFest, which happens every year over the Labor Day weekend in Quincy, California. Four days of exceptional to not-so-great music from up-and-coming Christian artists, as well as some of the more established names in the industry.
My friend Lisa was having have a milestone birthday in 2016, so we began planning this trip back in December 2015 when hugely discounted tickets went on sale. No camping for me! But we found an inexpensive, comfortable, and clean motel not far from the venue.
Two days before D-(Departure) Day after sending yet another informational email to group (don’t judge!), it dawned on me that I had not once talked to God about this trip.
Not, “Lord, keep us safe on our journey up and back; add meaning and Your purpose to this trip; reveal Yourself through the music and in our interactions with people…” Nothing! Not one prayer! Feeling a little ashamed, I began praying for our trip, and that’s exactly when everything fell apart!
One friend deployed with a Disaster Medical Assistance Team to help the flood victims in Louisiana, made it back in sufficient time to still go with us, but then got really sick, and was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. She was supposed to be our driver but it was clear she just needed to stay home.
Another had something come up and would need to leave a day early, and I was just tired after a crazy busy week at work and did not want to drive. So, in addition to the new logistical and financial challenges, every carefully orchestrated plan appeared to be falling apart, AFTER I prayed, “Lord, Thy will be done”.
Ugly things I learned are still inside me:
- Sometimes when I pray, “Thy will be done,” I really mean, “my will be done”.
- I still do not handle disappointment as promptly, or as well as I should.
- As much as I know and believe God, I still have a tendency to default to “CRAZY” when He interrupts my plans, saying stupid things like, “See God, this is one reason You have trouble ‘winning friends and influencing people!’”
Good things I learned are now in my DNA:
- I dial it back from “CRAZY” to repentance at lightning speed, especially when I recall Who exactly I am mouthing off to; the source of every breath I breathe.
- I treasure the good people God has put in my life who will help walk me back from every ‘ledge of failure, disappointment or lunacy’ whenever necessary.
- God’s truth trumps my circumstances or feelings, …every time!
“He is the Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are law and justice. A God of faithfulness, without breach or deviation, just and right is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4 AMP