Practicing boldness for Yellowstone
We were from different parts of the country; we had different jobs; we were in different stages in life. Regardless, the strangers I met at the ACMNP conference in Cleveland quickly became family. After all, we had the most important thing in common: our mutual love for Christ. Ironically, our love of Christ brought us together that weekend, with the intent of sending us all far apart this summer.
I’m working in Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park starting May 10th. It’s an extremely small area, so there are only a few ACMNP workers there. I didn’t get to meet anyone at the conference who is working there this summer, but I did get the privilege of meeting fellow workers from other areas in Yellowstone, as well as workers headed to other beautiful places, from the Grand Canyon to Sequoia National Park.
The conference kicked off with introductions, games, and laughter. Who knew that National Park Yoga could be so enlightening? The mood settled down as we focused on our main mission of the summer: loving those around us. We learned how to conduct worship services, present ourselves to others, and grow in the Lord during our trips.
Our weekend ended with a workshop that enabled us to practice a worship service just like the ones we will be conducting throughout the United States this summer. In Timothy, we learn that we have spirits of boldness, not of timidity. I was reminded of this fact as I was asked to sing and prepare a lesson with people I had just met, to present to even more people that I had just met. The Spirit filled the room as we both literally and figuratively joined hands in our hopes of glorifying the Lord.
Generally, the prospect of singing in public makes me feel like small explosions are happening inside my body. Though I know, as a nursing major, that nothing of the sorts is happening to me, I often struggle to remember this basic anatomy and physiology when standing in front of a crowd. Something was different this time; maybe it was the confidence of my peers around me, or maybe it was the sheer amazement that I had been gifted with the opportunity of serving this summer. Regardless, my group sang together with boldness and unity.
I leave for Yellowstone tomorrow and I’ll be honest: I’m scared. I’m going to a place that I don’t know, to do things that I don’t know, to be with people that I don’t know. But I do know the most important thing: I’m not going alone. Christ never asks us to go where He will not guide us.