Monday, February 13, 2012

God Moments: Roaring Campfires, Snowy Blankets and Tecalote Canyon

Let's start this week with a quick read of the scriptures. Notice anything similar between the OT and NT readings? Spiritual Moments on a grand scale: Elijah's ascension and Christ's transfiguration.

From 2 Kings:As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.

From Mark:And He was transfigured before them, and His clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.

Whether they are quietly meaningful or grandly mystical, chances are, we've all experienced some kind of God Moment: a time when all else seems to stop or fade out and it's just you and God in a great moment.

It can happen alone. It can happen with others. It's likely hard to describe. But you know it when you're in it.

When I was in middle and high school (1980s), the best bible camp around was Campus By the Sea on Catalina Island. No doors on the shack-like sleeping quarters, wild animals roaming through camp, no electricity in the cabins (shacks), biodegradable soap for washing your hair in the ocean! Revved up senior counselors always provided plenty of study and food for thought... and lots of kids re-dedicated their lives to Christ or got baptized for the first time. But the most magical "moment" was usually the camp fire on our last night together.

The shyest kids would get up and talk about their heart's transformation; the super popular, tough-guy jock would tear up explaining his love for Christ... and everyone got a chance to talk. The night did not end until everyone had their opportunity. Then, we would say a prayer and thank God with a round of applause... But, when do you stop clapping for God?

The noise would go on and on and on and no one wanted to be the first one to stop clapping. Usually, a responsible adult would have to shut it down... but 15 minutes of clapping and yelling and hugging and crying was not unusual... all while the camp fire popped and crackled and leaped into the midnight sky.

Whew, it was dramatic! But some God moments are absolutely quiet and still and just as powerful: driving alone, in the dark, only your headlights to guide you down a snow-covered lane, the blanket of fresh snow muffling everything except your heart beat and God's voice; running through Tecalote Canyon, deep breaths of fresh air pumping in and out of your lungs, your feet pounding on the crunching sand below, a crispness to the blue-sky day as you pass clear through the "runner's high" into the "God high;" or standing with your entire family, watching the sunset, and seeing the infamous, illusive "Green Flash" together, some for the first time ever.

Maybe your favorite God moment was more like Field of Dreams. In this clip, if you jump ahead to 1:20, that's when James Earl Jones admits to Kevin Costner that he saw the message too.

Whatever your moment(s), big or small, group or private, please share on Sunday. As we celebrate and recognize Transfiguration Sunday, we are hoping to share those moments when your life felt transfigured, even if just for a moment.

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