Let’s just put up some tents and stay here for a while.
That’s pretty much what Peter said in Mark 9 when he, along with James and John, saw the Lord transfigured in front of them. And that’s not all they saw – Elijah and Moses were there, too. But the experience of seeing the majesty of Jesus made the appearance of the law giver and the prophet seem so secondary that it barely gets mentioned.
Last week, at Worship Week 2014 (set at Ridgecrest Conference Center in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina), was one of those weeks when I was tempted to say, “Let’s just stay here.” The ministry of Dr. Michael Catt and Mark Willard, the anointed teaching of our faculty, and the spirited times of worship with Mike Speck, Shannon Wexelberg, and Shelly Johnson, made Worship Week 2014 one to never forget. And, I didn’t even mention the ice cream at the Nibble Nook each night.
But just like the disciples, we can’t stay on the mountain – because life happens down below. So we dutifully leave the experiences of renewal and go back to the front lines of what God has called us to do. The great news — we leave with more energy and more confidence that the God of the mountain is the God of the valley, and He will not abandon us in the battle fray.
I’m grateful for the events team and all the staff that served. I’m grateful to our guest faculty – for our State Music Directors and other teachers who contributed so much to the week. I’m grateful for the singers, artists, and exhibitors who invested in the people we serve. I’m grateful for Art Snead and the Ridgecrest staff who served (and continue to serve) us so well.
But most of all, I’m grateful for the presence of Jesus – the One who invited us to come, who met with us while we were there, and who goes with us as we move back into our places of service this week.
We didn’t build tabernacles so we could stay.
But we did start planning for next year…
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.