I knew my PowerPoint very well. I thought. But when the craziness of our weather problems caused our meeting location to be adjusted four times in two hours, my well prepared brain seemed a little like mush.
I was so excited to have the opportunity to meet the Canadian Parents of Teens at the Hamilton Ontario Acquire the Fire event. It truly was a dream come true to be called to share God’s heart with His precious people. So I wanted to do my best presentation possible.
As I looked out over the masses of heads as they stretched down the long hallway, I struggled to see the folks in the back row. The arena was built in a circle so it felt as if the back of the audience was about to do some sort of geometry maneuver and fall out of view.
They looked a little tired, these brave soul dragging their teens (or being drug by their teens) to Acquire the Fire for Jesus. Could they possibly acquire any fire from me as we competed with the main stage noise in our crowded hall?
Kalyn and I began our well rehearsed story with her side of the re-enactment. Then she was dismissed to speak on the main stage to the 4,000 or so participants who were not POTS. My mom’s heart wished I could see it. What a dramatic redemption of tragedy. It was clear evidence that the Lord will work everything in our lives for His good. Even darkness and pain.
None of us had time, in our frantic rush to salvage our meeting, to assess where I would stand after we quickly set up the PowerPoint screen. Neither did I have time to figure where I would set my notes in the podium-less room. Our guests arrived, unaware of the recent drama, and I launched out to speak without even looking at my notes or the PowerPoint. I am sure I put my new production technician friend, Samantha, through the ringer as I re-wove my message.
In what seemed like a flash, it was done. As I looked into their faces, I wished we had more time together. Maybe not in our crowded, loud hallway filled with a strange stereo mix of Kalyn’s voice and mine. But maybe around a kitchen table sharing the joys, challenges and honors of being a POTS. Were they facing the same crazy daily challenges to stay connected to their teens’ hearts as I constantly am?
I was mindful of the divine intersection of our day. I did not feel like I was able to pull off my best speaking job. But I knew the Father’s love was present and His Spirit could make up for my weaknesses. And I was reminded once again that He has not given up on this generation. If we will press into His voice and His heart, I am more convinced than ever, we will see His Glory descend on our kids.
Our journey to Canada by God’s standards was a success. More on our trip home later….
This is part nine of the ten part series on my recent ministry trip to speak with parents of teens in Ontario. In the last post, cold temperatures, wind and rain could not dampen my enthusiasm. Here’s where to find part one if you missed the start of this ten part series.
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