40 some miles into Virginia is my favorite place on earth.
This weekend is one my favorite weekends of the entire year. I am lucky enough to have grown up in young life in the Cincinnati area where I have tons of connections and friends that are leaders attending the Ohio Region Leader Weekend at the young life camp Rockbridge in Goshen Virginia. Two of the last three years I have been blessed enough to go on this awesome weekend where you basically get to hang out with some of the greatest people I know at the greatest place I know; worshipping, learning, playing, and mostly laughing with each other.
Young Life camps are special places but Rockbridge holds a very specific place in my heart.
Here are the reasons:
When I was freshmen in high school this was the first place I heard the Gospel in a relevant way that penetrated my heart. I accepted Jesus that week and started my journey to follow him. I can remember exactly what it felt like to hear and FEEL for the fist time God's love wrap me up in his warm blanket.
When I was a senior, just after my crazy and "prodigal son" end to a senior year, I went back as a camper/leader. The week was extremely life changing because it came at a time when I was broken into a million pieces by my own sin. Hearing a Gospel of Grace and Reconciliation filled in the cracks of my brokenness and since then I have been following Christ exponentially.
It was also that week that I decided to come back a few weeks later to be on Work Crew at the camp for the month of July. I cant really put into words what 5 weeks working in the "pits" (or as a dishwasher) did to my spirit. This was the first time in my life that I actually FOLLOWED and walked with Jesus daily. I had to. The days were long, hot, gross, and all together physically draining. Not to mention emotionally draining from working side by side people that I really just didn't like but was trying to love. We wouldn't get done until midnight some days and would pull left over food from our hair as we laid in bed to sleep only to wake up and start over the next day.
All that said, the 5 weeks were unbelievable and I got to a place where all I wanted was to be in God's will, for him to do with me whatever GOD wanted from me. I've always been in this state since then, not as pure as it was on work crew those 5 weeks. But when I am at Rockbridge there is always an overwhelming desire to be in the midst of God's will, grace, and love.
God has moved mountains in my life and continues to transform me daily. But, so much change and transformation has occurred while at Rockbridge that when I return it is like a spiritual return to Mecca. I see the rock I sat on during my twenty minutes, the hobart that I washed dishes in for 5 weeks, the bench where I posted up every morning to be with Jesus, and the frisbee golf course where I bonded with life long friends.
I cant wait to hang out with important friends. Whether they are old friends, new freinds, or friends that never leave I am very excited.
I also CAN NOT WAIT to play frisbee golf.