I lost my cell phone on a flight this week and it changed everything.
I was in route to a conference, FOCUS SLS18, that had 8,000 college students and young adults all striving to grow in their faith and I was the lost puppy squinting and scanning the crowd to find old friends by sight.
After one session, a random stranger walked up to me mid-scan and asked if I was OK because I looked such a scrunched eyebrow mess.
Still, in some ways, being a lost puppy gave me no other choice but being more present.
It reminded me that my smartphone is not, in fact, the equivalent of a third arm.
Thankfully, we had five days at the conference and I did catch up with the majority of people that were on my list to see. For those I didn’t find, me a culpa.
When I did spot someone, I would swoop in all creeper like and give them no other choice but to eat with, walk with, or Starbucks line wait with me because if not now, when?
It was never, “Let’s catch up later” or “Let’s meet up tonight”, but always, and necessarily, “How are you?” right out of the gates.
Losing my phone made me realize how our rushed, social media-centric, to-do list way of living is such an impediment to being present now.
Not tomorrow. Not let’s put it on the calendar sometime. But eye-contact, caring for our crowd today. Here. Now.
And my crowd? They make me come alive. Fellowship, invitations, continued investment from them is the number one thing that paved the way for my faith to begin, grow, continue.
“What makes you come alive?” this friend, Katy, once asked me. The same friend that let me use her phone at SLS when needed because some things just need to be documented.
St Irenaeus originally said, “The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God.” With her question, my friend was asking me the things, activities, people that help me see Him best.
Often the things that make us come alive are the same things that drew us to Him in the first place.
My big three are fellowship, Christian music, and Scripture. SLS was a holy trifecta of all three that made me remember the joy it was to initially feel His love; that it is never too late to fall in love all over again.
The talks challenged me with Biblical truth that, “all faith starts with a great love story.”
Singing “Be Thou My Vision” with 8,000 of my peers and rocking out to Matt Maher was true food for my soul.
Meeting new friends, reconnecting with old ones, and going deeper with those in my life made me incredibly grateful for all, past and present, here and gone before us, that have run the race with me.
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” – Revelation 2:4
Seeing mentors and pastors that changed my life walk with Him this week so tenderly, genuinely, and lovingly reminded me of my why.
It is never too late to remember your first love.
What makes you come alive?