Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spirit Day Every Day

How time flies. I've become so immersed in the world of youth ministry that a part of my brain actually keeps track of time by which events have come and gone. Youth Day? Check. Searching in the Spirit? Check. That must mean...Yep. Spirit Day time!

This past weekend, Nov. 6th and 7th, marked the 7th annual Spirit Day, an event organized for the Gr. 7s of the archdiocese of Vancouver to gain a better understanding of what their upcoming Confirmation should mean to them, and what it really means to be part of the bigger Church. Through the wonderful juggling and antics of Apex Ministries, the awesome music of Jacob and Matthew Band, the craziness of the Spirit Team, hospitality of the Logistics Team, and the skits and testimonies of the Stage team, 1800 Gr. 7s came to understand the theme of "chosen." Hearts were uplifted, joy was increased, and faith was strengthened. The event was a huge success. The Gr. 7s absolutely loved it. God was very present, and I am so thankful and so fortunate to have been able to once again help this event come to fruition.

But this year's Spirit Day was different. The word "unexpected" comes to mind. The event itself was held a bit early, as we usually hold it at the end of November, and so Oggy and I, the stage team leaders, were frantically trying to figure out what skits the team should do. We had new people acting as stage hands, new people running the lighting, and a new band leading us in praise and worship. Everyone had some serious "on the job" training, trying to figure everything out as we went along. Even Apex Ministries seemed to drop their juggling bowling pins a few more times than usual (not that they didn't still rock everyone's socks off!).

And yet, you will notice that I've said that the event was a huge success. And it was! What the Gr. 7s saw was nothing less than the Church on earth rallying together behind the banner of the Cross. And behind the scenes, no one, throughout the entire weekend, lost their cool or was totally unreasonable with their requests - and given some of the circumstances, people definitely could have chosen to fall into these selfish moments. To me, this attests to how much everyone involved in Spirit Day really accepted what God was showing them that weekend. There is an old saying that says that "If God throws you lemons, make lemonade." Well, this past weekend, everyone nearly OD'd on vitamin C.

It was really beautiful to see everyone live up to their baptismal call of being witnesses of Christ to the world. Apex Ministries incorporated their fumbles into their routine. Botched introductions were turned into long running jokes with the band. But from my perspective of being on the Stage Team, the biggest moment came when, during our final dance number of "Joyful Joyful", the sound system cut out half way through the song! Two thoughts, as if on instinct, immediately flew through my mind. Number 1: "God?...Um...why?" And number 2: "We should just walk off, and it'll cut to black, and we'll start over."

But then I turned to see the rest of the stage team, all slightly shocked...and we all started singing the song a cappella, and continued on with the dance. It was so instantaneous, it was a bit unreal. 10 seconds later (although it felt like an hour), the music came back on - props to Dylan and Pat for actually figuring out exactly where the song should start playing! It took me a few hours to realize it, but once I did, I kept thinking, "how cool was that?"

The Stage Team, along with the rest of the production team, simply took what had been given to us, and trekked on with the grace of God. It wasn't too hard to see that God was asking us to trust him. There was more nervous energy going into Spirit Day this year, and God, through all the fumbles, was simply saying, "relax. I've got this." He was showing us that he has chosen us for a special purpose, and that no matter what happens, we could still fulfill that purpose. All we have to do is trust. And at the end of the day, we did trust, and allowed God to just work his grace into everything that we did.

The theme song for Spirit Day was a song by Jacob and Matthew entitled, "Every Day." And by the time the band started playing the chorus for the last time, 2000 people were singing at the top of their lungs,

"From the rising
To the setting sun
Every day for you, Lord."

Every single moment of our lives should be lived for God. Every high, every low, every success, and every failure. We offer it up to him in the little things - the weather, the traffic, the bad lunches, the late nights and early mornings. And then when the big, huge, potentially earth-shattering moments come, we will already be in the habit of simply saying yes to Christ, looking at each other, and continuing to dance. I really pray that everyone who was involved in Spirit Day can take this level of acceptance and apply it to their lives - every day.

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