Zeteo 2017: reflecting on a powerful retreat...
Our group....excuse me, our #otterbratz had a terrific adventure this past weekend. We went to Altoona, PA and experienced the annual "Zeteo" conference. It was a wonderful weekend that focused on a drama which took place over three days. Additionally, we heard a speaker share powerful messages and we each attended a variety of thought-provoking seminars. As a leader, my heart was warmed from watching our students encounter God whole-hardheartedly.
The drama we watched unfold over the course of three days was called:
Storymakers was about our Storymaker, God Almighty, and a variety of character's relationship with Him. Each character had a different faith journey. Some spent a lot of time in the Storymaker's office; writing with Him, reading and learning from Him. Others occasionally went to the Storymaker but only when they needed something. They had trouble hearing Him, because they blocked out His voice and only heard what they wanted to hear. Some characters struggled with anger, abandonment, depression, and sexual struggles. They each had to walk through some pain and turn their stories over to God. The Storymaker never left their side and He was always ready to write new chapters with them.
The concept of our God as a "Storymaker" makes SO much sense because He really is an incredible author. He dreamed up creation. He spoke it into existence. He penned the most beautiful love story when He sent us His son.
He wrote an intricate, unique, stunning character when He created YOU.
We all are a part of the greatest story ever written by the Storymaker. We each have a story, though it isn't perfect, written and currently being written, by the perfect author of our faith.
All we have to do is open our book and offer our stories to Him.
That is what Zeteo taught us. We learned that our stories are important. We learned that the Storymaker has AMAZING chapters in store for us. We learned that we just need to let HIM write those chapters.
There is a big difference between writing with the Storymaker and writing your own story then asking the Storymaker for His approval.
That was a major theme we learned at Zeteo. Saying YES to whatever He writes in our lives....even if it isn't what we want....saying YES to His penmanship. That isn't easy to do, but when we say YES to the Storymaker we see His truth, love, grave, forgiveness, and strength in our lives. When we say YES to the Storymaker, we become more like Him and our stories witness to other people's stories the power of God Almighty.
Ephesians 3:20 says...
...Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us...
We serve a Storymaker who can write much more than our wildest dreams could ever possibly imagine. I want a story that reflects its author. I want my life to be a story that is written by God...not by me and my weak understanding, selfish desires, and shortcomings. I desire to be a character who overcomes conflict, who wants to honor the Lord, and who serves the Storymaker with my everything.
I want to...everyday...say YES to my Storymaker.
And that is what I saw our students doing at Zeteo. I saw them saying YES. I saw them reflecting upon and meeting with their Storymaker. I saw each of their beautiful stories being highlighted by the Storymaker. I asked them to share with me some things they were going to "take away" from the Storymaker. One student said:
"God already chose us...now WE need to choose Him."
That student was SO right. We need to choose the Storymaker everyday, over ourselves, over our sins, over our pain, over our joys, over everything. He needs to come first. He is, after all, the author...He deserves first place. This week, at the start of a new month, I am thinking of God as my Storymaker. I am trying my best to offer my story to Him, to say YES to whatever I see Him writing.
How about you? Will you say yes?