Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aunt Bethany Should Say Grace

Grace? She passed away thirty years ago.

They want you to say grace. The blessing!

Mae Questel as Aunt Bethany
and William Hickey as Uncle Lewis
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (2009)

I spent the past weekend at a campground in Clay City, working as a volunteer at a Walk to Emmaus Christian retreat. If you have never been on one - and there are Emmaus communities in every state so your location is no excuse - I highly recommend that you go. They're among the most enlightening and enriching spiritual experiences I can imagine having here on this earth.

Getting to work at the Walk, though, that was something different. It rained on us all weekend, for starters, so I spent the weekend walking around in the mud. I was on my feet more than someone clocking in at 232 pound at my height probably should be for the four days. I was routinely one of the last people on the campground to go to bed and one of the first to get up. The first day, it rained so hard as we got set up that I had to change all of my clothes, as they'd all been soaked through. The cinder block cabin I stayed in was, from all appearances, the birthing place of all spiders.

And I would not change any of it. It was, with no exaggeration, the most spiritually fulfilling thing that I've ever done.

I was privileged to spend those days in the company of thirty-three guys seeking to have a deeper walk with their Lord. I was able to serve them in whatever capacity I was needed, and got to see them change from their arrival on Thursday to their departure on Sunday. And, true to His form, God found plenty of time to work in me while He was doing His thing with the acutal Pilgrims. I spent the weekend surrounded by love and filled with the Holy Spirit, and got to expend every ounce of myself in service to my Lord and my fellow man. I honestly don't know how it could get any better than that.

I was unsure what to expect going in. I didn't think it would be nearly as enriching as actually experiencing the walk as a pilgrim was. It turned out to be even more enriching and more meaningful for me, though, which is one of God's little miracles considering how fantastic an experience it was the first time.

Alright, enough gushing. Go to a Walk if you've never been. Work one if you have. The experiences will change your life.

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