August 20th, Merriweather Pavilion in Columbia, MD
Indescribably awesome. I remember when Hillsong came to MD 2 years ago, I didn't lose my voice then. This time around I did but its back to normal now. I can honestly say that this past weekend was the best I've had all summer long. Met some really great new people, caught up with old friends, and went to a Hillsong concert. I definitely needed it. Amidst all the same old same old, it was nice and refreshing to have a splash of color thrown at you.
Theres something amazing about praising God with hundreds and thousands of your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. In that moment it was like we were all one. I guess thats what heaven will be like, continuously praising God alongside thousands of others. People from all races, backgrounds, places, all praising together in one voice is an outer worldly experience. Pretty much reaffirmed how much I love praising. I wouldn't mind praising for eternity. Its definitely the rejuvenating factor I needed. I look forward to the day I'll be able to praise forever for eternity alongside my brothers and sisters.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
So if you've been reading my previous posts for about two months now, you know that I've been pretty much reminiscing all summer long. A few people know what my old xanga page is and I've read through it recently only to cringe and wonder, "damn...was I really that emo?". But I did pull out a quote that I made up that particularly caught my attention again:
Memories are like the seasons. Spring a time of growth, summer a time of enjoyment, autumn a time of gathering, and winter a time of remembrance. Memories will grow with more enjoyment as we work to gather these into remembrance.
Why did this quote stick out to me? Probably because I spent a good amount of time after dinner just sitting outside in my balcony enjoying the (now cooled) summer night breeze. They say that memories are triggered not by sight, but smell. Interesting little fact because I feel like thats exactly what happened 30 minutes ago in the balcony. I mostly recalled my multiple summer retreats that I went to in youth group. If you've been to a youth summer retreat I think you can picture this scene exactly. Something about the breeze and the atmosphere outside brought back the memory of those times after a major activity in the afternoon was done and everyone went back to shower, change, and get ready for dinner. We'd all come out with fresh clothes, wet hair, girls smelling like shampoo, guys smelling the same, and we'd eat dinner and get ready for night service. Plus it was usually around this time we'd leave for summer retreat. Our retreats were always 5 days and 4 nights so I'm pretty used to begin secluded and away from modern civilization. All 40-50 of us just secluded in the middle of nowhere having fun, making fun of each other, flirting, playing late night games, living and praising God together. Not gonna lie though, I felt pretty old sitting out there alone in the balcony reminiscing about the old days. I know people say that a lot but I literally felt damn old for some odd reason. Maybe because I've hit that stage where there are no more summer retreats to look forward to. Even if I do get a chance, I'd probably be a counselor/teacher type rather than a carefree, young son-of-a-gun. Nostalgia at its finest. That was probably a good 8 years ago starting from 8th grade.
Something about the days where all you had to worry about were the first day of high school, or the SATs, or that one cute girl in youth group, the innocence of it all, I miss dearly. After our youth pastor left for Korea, we all went our separate ways. We barely even kept in contact with each other. I want to relive those days because they were genuinely fun. Of course we had our share of complaining for the usual camp rules of no cell phones, curfew, minimal guy/girl physical contact, but of course breaking those rules were all part of the happy memories. I can say without a doubt that all my summer retreats in youth group, even though some really pushed our limits, were the best memories of my high school days. I'd relive it over again if given the opportunity. I've been blessed with wonderful experiences. Memories are really God-given gifts. I'm looking forward to the day where I can sit in front of my next-gen macbook pro couple years from now and remember this exact time. "Remember that time you reminisced about reminiscing? Good times huh?"
Bible Progress - Isaiah 2, Song of Songs was a pretty, interesting to say the least book to read through