Hey God, it’s me, Jon. This has been one amazing retreat. Thanks for showing up in so many cool ways this weekend. Those moments were all just appetizers though, pre-gaming for the big event, the Saturday night session. You ready for this? This is kind of like the grand finale of the retreat. Time to do some crying and some laying down of things.
Remember last year? That was crazy. They actually had a wooden cross and I went down front and gave up a bunch of stuff and felt drawn to your altar like a magnet. That was an insane time of closeness and awesomeness. I don’t want to be demanding with my expectations, but that is exactly what I am expecting this year.
Alright, there’s the first song and there’s the first “if you want to get right with God, come on down” message from the minister. You ready? It’s go time, right? This is the part where you drop some profound wisdom on me. You want me to journal something first? Want to have me flip to an unexpected Bible verse and lay some truth on me that way? I’ll leave it up to you. I’ll be right here in my chair, like a tightly pulled slingshot ready to burst toward the altar.
OK God, we’re on the second song now, last year we were down front the whole time. Trying something a little different this year, huh? Mixing it up? I feel ya, I feel ya. We’ll just chill in this seat for a while longer, but keep in mind, this is a retreat, this is kind of where you’re scheduled to show up the loudest. Well here and sunrises.
Wow, third song God and still nothing? I’m beginning to get a little worried. A lot of my friends have already gone down front or at the bare minimum are crying in their seats. I don’t want to be the one guy that stays in the aisle as if he’s not connecting with you on some sort of deep level. I mean it was OK when I went to Catholic high school and our entire gymnasium bleachers would empty for kids to go take communion, leaving only me and a smattering of Hindu kids sitting alone in the empty acres of seats. I was Baptist and took communion with my church not my school. But this, this is getting kind of embarrassing.
Fourth song, fourth song and nothing God? Really? I keep going to that place inside me where I find you most and it’s just calm and peaceful. It’s still and quiet, but I was kind of hoping for something turbulent right now God, some sort of fireworks and life change that exploded out of me. But if that’s not happening, I’m willing to negotiate. How about one or two small sentences of just fresh wisdom? Kind of like a fortune cookie of faith. Can I get one of those?
Remember that time three years ago when I was all frustrated because I wanted to be Donald Miller and no one knew I existed and I asked you what you wanted me to be that year and what you wanted me to do? And I felt like you said, “Be Jon Acuff. Not a smarter, better version of Jon Acuff, but just be Jon Acuff.” That seemed really simple at the time, but looking back on it, that was awesome. Because I didn’t know what that meant and you’ve continued to show me that, you’ve continued to reveal to me what it means to know you and be known by you. You’ve continued to show me what it really means to be “Jon Acuff.”
So can I get even a smidge of you? Break me off just a little piece of wisdom? What am I supposed to tell my friends when we got back to our cabin tonight and they all talk about the ways you rocked their worlds? I don’t want to make something up. Lying about something God told you is like a double sin or something. You sure you don’t want to follow my schedule, my expectations, my menu of what an amazing God moment looks like? This retreat has been on the calendar for months. I feel like you’ve had ample time to prepare.
No life change tonight? OK, well you’ve got the Fall Retreat in a few months. Maybe you can hit me with the triple mojo then.