Every year at the end of June my wife and I spend a few days up in the mountains in Colorado for a special time with friends and family at Worship at 8500. I enjoy this time because I make it a point to turn off the cell phone and leave the computer alone for these few days to really focus on God. To be honest, last year at 8500 was so refreshing I didn't think this year could top it, but boy was I wrong. I guess I didn't really have a lot of expectations, except 1. to hear from The Lord and 2. spend valuable time with a few important people in my life. Both were met and exceeded. Leaving the busy city behind us we started our journey to Colorado this year with two of my wifes good friends. But I couldn't complain because I got to rest and relax the first half of the trip in the backseat. Pulling an all-nighter has its downs more than ups, but my up is getting to see the sun rise over the New Mexico desert. Watching how the light triumphs over the dark sky makes my heart smile. Then entering the Raton pass right on the border of New Mexico and Colorado the mountains take over and present a breathtaking view of creation. (Enter shout of joy here)
This year, for both Amanda and I, was a special year because I was asked to be a part of the artist team and Amanda led worship for one of the morning sessions. I was invited to help plan and create artwork for the weekend event by Clint Dunning. There are three nights of worship and each night we had 2 canvases (approximately 4x8 feet) to paint, with the exception of Saturday night in which we painted a huge 8x8 foot canvas on the main stage. I was lucky not to have to do it alone though, with the help of the lovely and talented Betony Coons, and a few other participants, we knocked it out in about 3 hours.
Before the weekend I was nervous about painting, even the first night I didn't feel adequate, but looking back now I see that it wasn't about me and my abilities at all. It's much more. The role an artist plays during worship is not to focus on one's own ability but rather to pray and hear the Lord on what is happening. Then we can begin to bring forth the images and colors that we are seeing. For me, I spent a week prior to 8500 in a quiet time of prayer and sketching to see what the Father was dreaming and creating for the weekend ahead. I love practicing this type of prayerful sketching when I'm not sure what to do. Because God is ultimately creative and I know He will give me new and exciting ideas. That way it's not up to my abilities and I can rest in that.
After three nights of camping we were like gypsies wandering from one house to the next every night. We stayed in Colorado Springs with Clint and Rebecca Dunning for two nights and then drove up to Greeley to spend time with Tim and Betony Coons, but ended up staying in a house three doors down called The Farr House. While Amanda and I both love and adore the people in Woodland Park and CO Springs there is some magnetic force that draws us to Greeley. And it's one specific section of town with its historic homes and boutique shops that really grabs our hearts. Not to mention that our friend Tim Coons helps pastor a local fellowship called Atlas and they have a really sweet gallery space right in front. With our powers combined...
So what happens next? We pray and wait. There are many things on the horizon. None of which have come to clarity yet. But coming down from the mountain I feel the veil lifted a little bit and see the need for a simpler life with good friends, family and plenty of wine to go around. So if you know me or Amanda we would appreciate your prayers for direction and the faith to follow that still small voice.
Deep calls to deep.