You never know who you’ll run into at a horse show. Yesterday, I ran into a guy named Tom. I haven’t seen him in 15 years, and it was 15 year before THAT (yes, that’s 30 years ago) that Tom was part of a small band of 20-somethings who came to one of our local churches to run a retreat. He and his compatriots were part of Zion Ministries, and they blew their entire weekend on us – a small group of high school students in a little church in a little town.
There was great singing. There were games. There was time just hanging out, where we learned that people who seemed to be WAY older and WAY cooler than us were struggling to walk with Jesus…and that walking with Jesus was the best thing you could possibly do.
Tom’s still walking with Jesus, and with the passing of years, he and I have grown to be the same age. Two guys with some grey in their beards (I’m winning that contest) with wives and kids and responsibilities and a horse show to go to.
Back in 1982, I’d bet Tom was a guy who had plenty of things on his plate that could have kept him from committing his entire weekend to a bunch of high schoolers he didn’t know. There are always things to do.
But I want Tom and the Zion folks to know that they didn’t waste that weekend in 1982, because it changed my life. We talked about things that really matter. We had fun. We had goofy conversations that ranged from sublime to ridiculous. We worshiped with songs that came from the heart.
At one point, we discussed C.S. Lewis’ Weight of Glory, and I’ll never forget it.
It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations… There are no ‘ordinary’ people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.