Ahh, Lent: that lovely post-binge time of year when many folks try their hand a second time at the fabled resolve of the New Year's resolution.
No. Kat and I had a conversation about why one might give up something for Lent, and here is proof of my wife's wisdom. She said that I should persevere in my fast from meat and alcohol in order to appreciate the sacrifice that is part of following Jesus Christ. So, I continued for another couple of days, and then gave it up because I had told way too many people about it - even though it's really supposed to be between God and myself - and because I was on a wonderful trip with some great folks - and this annual journey sees us getting paid to play music and eat. Besides, my pursuit of Jesus did not grow more diligent with this practice. So, I shall try again at another time, hopefully practicing more privacy and also hopefully with aid of a friend who might stand by me in mutual accountability. Not to say that my wife and friends would not, but they were not fasting from meat and alcohol, so the singularity of my position presented a difficulty. No excuses, though. But that's not what I'm here to tell you.
This past weekend, the sound of clashing swords in a Great Battle was heard a little louder behind the dim veil of blindness over this world. It was my fourth annual trip to Irmo, South Carolina to join in leading the Disciple Now weekend at First Baptist. It has always been a struggle of last-minute preparation - reminiscent of my college career - to get everything ready so that it goes off without an undeniably noticeable hitch. This year was not unique in that aspect, but in the aspect that we could see Satan fighting. Fighting with all the damned wiles of his way. I won't go into details, because some of it is personal to those involved, but let me suffice it to say that the whole world seemed against us. But there are whispers of a Life...
I can't really tell you exactly what happened in a large sense. Right now I just feel like a big rock star because I got to play music all weekend and people sang along and the sound was incredible! But the idea was not simply to make us all high, of course. I've brought a new perspective to the table every year, and this year, looking back on this morning and the previous two days, I can almost feel the hearts of the people worshipping Christ in song. I'm still jazzed off the high from the sound of the music, so I think that a truer sense of what happened will drift into my mind as the days roll onward. But we had a blast! And I can begin to see now the outline of a Battle taking shape, and the silent hand of a Savior in it. Who else could raise the bastard sons of sin as Knights of a Brotherhood?
So, we waded through countless hours of practice and preparation and stress and issues with each other. I call the whole experience a success. Let me not dwell on the bad. We learned about each other, spoke the truth to each other, came up with a fine selection of inside jokes, practiced and played well, and ate some dang good meals. If you're ever in Irmo, find a place called the Lizard's Thicket. Country-made meals; meat and three home-cooked veggies for $5.95 as I recall. But now, Kat and I are thankfully back home. So after a good quiet drive through the Blue Ridge Mountain sunset, and an evening of procrastination, I'm going to get the guitars, etc. out of the car and call it a night. Back to the Bux tomorrow, but I go as a knight much refreshed and reminded.
When the paycheck comes, a book on Jewish history is in order.