Few places are as significant to me and many of my friends as Lake Shasta. For almost 20 years CrossWinds Church has taken a group of high school students and leaders there all with the hope of encountering our Creator. We get away from the every day habits and patterns of life to reflect, remember, and recount who God is. There is no doubt in my mind that over the years hundreds of people have had an encounter with God for the very first time on the banks of that reservoir, under those bright stars, and on those houseboats.
That lake has been the place where countless memories have been made, endless friendships have been fostered, and hundreds and hundreds of lives have been changed.
For many of us, the memories of Lake Shasta also carry difficult emotions of tragedy and loss.
No matter how you look at it, Lake Shasta will be etched into the stories of countless lives, primarily as a place where eternal things were considered and God seemed to show up.
Over the years on the shores of Lake Shasta I’ve prayed with people, cried with people, laughed with people, sang with people, ate with people, been injured with people, and more.
The theme for the week was “The Descent”, hoping to challenge students to be less self centered and more others and God centered in their lives.
On Wednesday night we invited students to make “The Descent”, taking themselves out of the drivers seat of their lives and placing their trust in Christ.
You see, we all place our trust somewhere, or in someone, or in something- sometimes ourselves. For me, as I reflect on the Jesus narrative I’ve become convinced that the fundamental truth of our reality is that we’ve placed ourselves on top of our lives and messed things up, and that the Christ account is the story of redemption for a humanity that acted selfishly and recklessly – that God loved us enough to take the cross for us and is constantly pursuing us with his sacrificial, redeeming, endless, forever love. His death brings life to the death that we have created. The hope of Christ is that he brings life to us both here in this life, and also after our bodies hit their expiration date in the next life, whoa.
It was this truth that we considered that night. On the rocky slopes of Lake Shasta dozens and dozens of students responded and began a journey of knowing, trusting, and following Christ. Lots of tear were shed- it was a beautiful moment, an eternal moment.
As I reflect on last week at Houseboats, I’m utterly humbled. I’m humbled that God loves us. I’m humbled that Lake Shasta continues to be a place of significance for so many of us. I’m humbled that so many of my friends put their trust in Jesus. I’m humbled that I got a front row seat to it all.
My hope and prayer is that I, along with my friends, will find ways to mark, remember, and continue what our Master Artist is doing in each of our lives, that we won’t forget or move on, but instead be forever changed by the Divine Mystery who is forever calling us home, back to Him.