Earlier this week, I included some past posts from my former ministry’s “Mad Libs eBay Road Trip” – click here to catch up. I left off at Sunday night, where we were fighting the temptation to be a little anxious about the present plan-less-ness of the second half of our trip. Here’s the conclusion of THAT adventure.
[Monday, March 12] In the first few hours of our trip, I had sent out some messages to various contacts in possible stops along the way. One school that wasn’t on Spring Break, Auburn University, was kinda out of our way, but I emailed the Baptist Campus Ministry guys there anyway.
At 7:21am Monday morning Stephen from Auburn’s BCM wrote me back. He wrote: “Tuesday night at 8 pm we worship together. This semester our theme is NOW (No Opportunity Wasted). Maybe you wouldn’t mind sharing and leading us in worship on what it is like to be lead by God, waste no opportunity He presents you, and serve Him.”
And later: “It did strike me that your trip sounded exactly like the emphasis for tomorrow night we were looking for.”
And it struck us that their invite sounded exactly like the emphasis for our trip that we were looking for.
Do you see it?
Was this really and truly an opportunity, staring us right in the face, where God was accomplishing his goals for a church College Ministry from Dallas AND His goals for a campus College Ministry in Auburn AT THE SAME TIME? Could He really be that clever?
We supposed so. That’s why we were headed to Auburn Monday evening – definitely out of our way, definitely right on track.
[Tuesday, March 13] We showed up at the BCM mid-morning, and Stephen, Brant, and Kelly welcomed us with open arms! We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon “falling in love with the campus” we would be ministering to that night.
After the Auburn students led in worship, we were up. We went verse-by-verse through Eccl. 11:1-5; I would give explanation of the verse and then a member of our team illustrated it through a testimony about our trip. Everybody seemed really receptive – I think it helps that we were doing such a random trip – and were super-friendly and encouraging after the message, too.
Stephen wrote me one more email that night:
“Thanks much for coming by here! Glad God brought you into our paths. Your testimonies about what God is doing with/through you this week was just what I had hoped our students would hear tonite.”
That’s not tooting our horn. That’s pointing to God, who brilliantly connects His people in His ways for His work.
[Wednesday, March 14] We picked up those crazy shorts late Tuesday night, and we were headed home.
It’s not a short trip from Mobile to Dallas – 10 hours or somethin’. And we could have just driven it straight, I guess. But it was far better to take a slight detour to see the coast, including much that was still left from the tragedy of Katrina. That was sobering – so many people, like the owner of one broken Shell station, simply seem to have left town for good.
LSU was our last campus stop, with a stadium (stadiums were surprisingly accessible on this trip) and a campus center to see. Ooh – and shirts to buy. If you know me, you know my closet is filled with shirts, hats, pants from campuses. But I was proud of our students, who bought, as well. Represent.
Why do I like campuses so much? They teem with life. Not just biological life. Look at the fields – they are ripe with activity, with drama, with passion, with energy, with heartache, with decisions, with fun, with pain, with laughter, with love, with reckless abandon – but simply abandonment at times, too. How can we not love the campus? The stakes are so high – for these students now, for our world in the future. Christ wants to bring His life to that life, to intersect it and bring the life that is truly life to a culture – the collegiate culture – that could explode with passion for Him. (And it frequently does.) How can we not love the campus?
And late that night, we were home. Here’s the countdown:
a bunch of new friends
$10.28 for an eBay victory
9 total motel rooms
6 fill-ups on gas
4 college campuses
3 state capitals
3 nights playing Mafia
1 pair of kids’ shorts won on eBay
1 short bus
1 new brother in Christ
1 awesome trip
1 great God
“Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1,9 ESV)