In a little over a week, I will be on my way to the 2013 Generation Unleashed youth conference! This will be my fourth year attending GU, and I am always amazed by how usual it is there for miracles to happen. Jesus is invited, and He comes and celebrates with us! I am excited beyond words to see what He does this year– and I’m better equipped to receive it.
I watched “The Polar Express” pretty recently. It’s one of my favorite movies, not just in the Christmas category but in the entire realm of movies! I see so much beauty in it. This last time I watched it, I was astounded by the parallels in it and Generation Unleashed. Just humor me for a minute and I think it will make sense!
I think some of us are like the girl in the pink nightgown: believers firm in faith and so ready to see our Hero move! Others might be like the boy in the rainboots who almost missed the train: no-doubt believers, but feeling different from the others, like things won’t work out. And there are those who are like the boy in the blue robe: people who wish they could be believers, but don’t think they can believe when there’s so much out there that’s fake. Maybe some (but I hope not) are even like the boy in the space PJ’s: just wanting to see what they get out of the deal. At GU, we’re all coming together in hope– some in bucketfuls, some in ounces. As we discover later in the movie, all are touched. The firm believer receives a “well-done” and some direction. The “different” believer is reassured, shown all that he has, and is still promised a gift. The selfish-hearted one is given a bit of humility and the drive to change. And the doubting one, the minute he declares belief, is called out among the others in celebration and given what he’s been missing. No one is neglected; all are loved and blessed in just the way they need.
I want to claim these promises for myself and everyone else making the journey to Generation Unleashed. Do you remember when the new believer finds out that he’s left his gift behind? How crushed he is? But that when he gets home, he finds that his Hero has given it to him there, too? Do you remember the line at the end that says he never lost that gift or the ability to believe in it again, even when others did? I apply that to new believers that will be made at GU, as well! You will find Him, and you will NEVER lose Him, no matter what it looks like. He will always be with you if you continue to believe! And that ghost/hobo that rides on top of the train? I think he represents doubt. I think that on your way to meet Jesus, you will be accused and confronted by doubt and fear. Do what the boy in the movie did: just stay on the train and find good company; seek answers. You’ll find them.
I’m somewhere between the two believers, and I treasure what I’m promised. I hope for it, I believe in it. Who are you in this story? Are you going to Generation Unleashed or any other conference this year? Do you see any more parallels from The Polar Express?