Monday, February 26, 2007

Antioch...where the disciples were first called Christian

And where we almost spent an extra week trying to dig out!

I took a group of college students on retreat this past weekend. It's always powerful for me to hear their stories of faith and to watch the peer ministry that happens among the college students. I love to see one person who has such deep faith assisting someone else who doesn't have as much. It's truly remarkable.

But, beginning on Friday, the weather was bad. It was raining with periods of sleet/ice pellets mixed. On Saturday the rain started to freeze and turn to snow, which is an ominous sight when you figure that you came down a windy hill to get where you are. On Sunday at the end of the retreat, we came up with a full proof plan. One person would try to make it up the hill who had four week drive. Then we would send the rest of the vehicles that were only two wheel. The second vehicle, a rear wheel car, made it up without a problem. The next vehicle, a front wheel drive mini-van, had a deer cross its path and forced it to stop. They had to back down and I made the decision to go out the back way. Thankfully, the fourth car had already come to that decision on its own and left, leaving the four wheel drive, the minivan, and myself. I needed to turn around so I started driving and met the minivan at a narrow strip of roadway and, guess what...he ended up in the ditch. And not just somewhat in the ditch were talking like undercarriage scraping ground, back wheels off the ground in the ditch. We sent the four wheel arrogance home and waited for the tow truck to come and pull him out, which was itself an experience. And finally we made it home approximately 5 hours late.

The most beautiful experience, however, happened on Sunday morning. The entire group was just awesome. They hung together and were very open. When we woke up on Sunday, the snow had clung to the ice and turned the trees into what I referred to as a Tim Burton film. They were like hands wrapping around our cars. In other places, they had broke the trees and tree limbs so I was worried one would crush a car. So, I decided we needed to get out cars out from under them before a limb broke, which turned into this amazing little experience of cooperation among the students. They took turns shoveling and helped each other clean off cars. They really did a fantastic job of just working to ensure what I would call the public good. It was awesome to see amidst this Hollywood-esque winter scene.

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