I'm going to try really hard not turn this blog entry into a WHAT I DID ON SUMMER VACATION essay. That could very easily happen. I'll do my best to avoid that. All I want to do is share with you the great time I had speaking at a summer retreat for The Anchor student ministry. I was mostly excited for this trip the weeks leading up to it. But there were a few things that made me a little standoffish. The three day retreat was a canoe trip in Oklahoma, and those are two things I'm not all that fond of.
Canoeing involves nature and the outdoors. I'm allergic to all that (grass, trees, cats, moss…I'm probably allergic to ferrets or something).Plus, I am an incredibly pale fellow. If I even think about the sun for too long I'll get burned. So it's just easier and more comfortable if I stay indoors. Also, before this trip I had never actually been inside a canoe. I've been on the lazy river at water parks. That's as close as I've gotten.
And then there's the fact that I don't really enjoy Oklahoma. I mean, I don't hate it or anything. Out of all the states it's just not in my top 3…or top 10…or top 50. I guess it's Texas loyalty or something. Sorry, Oklahoma. I'm trying to change.
IN FACT earlier this summer I discovered something remarkable in Texas' hat (Oklahoma). The greatest burger I've ever had is hidden in downtown Oklahoma City. The place is called S&B Burger Joint. For some reason I'm obsessed with this burger. I can't stop thinking about it. I've only had it once but it'll stay with me forever. See? There's some good in Oklahoma! I'm slowly learning to love it there.
Everything about the retreat was great. Hanging out with the leaders and students was so much fun. Canoeing was surprisingly enjoyable. Sure, I got sunburned but at least I wasn't sneezing and slinging snot everywhere from allergies. I think I got bit by spider on my lower back/upper butt. There were a ton of tiny things flying and crawling around. I'm never a fan of that. But canoeing was fun. I'd do it again if given the chance.
And then there were the services. It was so encouraging to watch a group of students so willing to respond to God.
I was given a lot of nice compliments and blah blah blah. I know that was ultimately God who caused things to happen. All I did was be obedient. And I'm so glad I was. The day after I got home from Oklahoma I saw a picture and caption a student from the retreat posted on Instagram.
I've got nothing. There's nothing for to say. It feels great to know that God would involve me. Awesome.
Alright, I'll move on.
There was an unusual tradition at the retreat: arm wrestling competition. It was the youth's own late night fight club. A table was set up in the middle of the room with a chair on either side. Everyone would begin to sing and stomp WE WILL ROCK YOU as the names of the two competitors was announced. "When the table calls, you answer."
I documented some of the arm wrestlers and I'm so glad I did. Check out the faces this guy was making! He got intense REAL quick.
And check out the guy in the background! He's posed so perfectly but as a complete accident! He naturally sits like that! Man, his yearbook picture is probably incredible.