My friend went to Colorado last weekend for a men’s retreat. It was one of those getaways where men come together around a John Eldredge concept and grow closer to other men and to Christ. He was so excited to go, it was costly in time and resources but he was convinced it was the next step needed in his growing relationship with God and with his fiancee. My guy and I were looking forward to hearing all about the trip, because we were praying for him and this friend of ours has God encounters wherever he goes and we love to hear his stories!
Chase left for Colorado and met a large group of men along the way to the the retreat. One in particular was someone named Dave who he was instantly drawn to; the man reminded Chase of his grandfather, and he was eager to get to know the gentleman. The pair exchanged their stories quickly at first, and then the retreat began in earnest. Chase felt a nudge to share his real story, one of rebellion and redemption in his relationship with his intended bride, and worked to seek out Dave to do just that. Chase told the man about working through some junk from his past as well as meeting regularly with a couple to help them view marriage and commitment from a Biblical standpoint. He told Dave about a book that he and his fiancee had read together that had greatly helped them, and Dave instantly recognized the author as his longtime next door neighbor in Minnesota! Coincidence? No way.
Chase traveled from Nebraska and Dave traveled from Minnesota, both to Colorado for a weekend retreat. There were more than 450 men present, and these two came together. No big deal, right? Except these men decided to really open themselves up to each other and God met them, giving them the gift of confirmation that they were on the right path. It thrilled me to hear of the situation, but I kept thinking about it. How many times in our lives does God put someone right in front of us who can confirm, acknowledge, and affirm us? Maybe way more often than we think. Perhaps one of the reasons Chase seems to have so many God encounters is because he is looking for God in the mundane and in the people he meets, but also he is willing to make himself vulnerable when the situation calls for it. It reminds me of six degrees of separation, the idea that everyone on earth is six or fewer acquaintance links apart. The trick is that in order to know there is some connection in the first place, we must ask questions and share who we really are and where we have walked so far.
The book that confirmed it all: Holy Sexuality by Becky Patton http://www.amazon.com/Holy-Sexuality-Beginning-Becky-Patton/dp/144970672X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423670171&sr=8-1&keywords=Holy+Sexuality