It's surprising how much you can learn in a field on the south coast of England in just one week.
We have just returned from a week at HTB's Focus Holiday at Camber Sands, now for the 4th year returning to sit under teaching and worship from some of the most amazing people around the world.
This year's Focus was a very different experience for us for 3 reasons:
- We were camping (well glamping)
- We were taking a 8 week old baby (ours)
- See above 2 reasons
Reason one was short lived due to be being evacuated from our glamp tent after just 48 hours due to high winds and torrential rain - resulting in us being moved to the less glamorous chalet's of Pontins Camber Sands (trust me - if you've seen the Watchdog episode it's not far off...).
The theme of the week was Calling - what it means to be called by God. And for me that calling really resonated as what it means to be a father.
What it means to be a leader in the home - what kind of family I want to be in charge of and how I want to raise Mini Milk*.
It's incomprehensible how your perspective can shift so dramatically unless you have gone through it when becoming a parent. Everything you thought was important just dims slightly in the light of needing to preserve the life of this little creature that's entered your home.
What makes that light all the brighter is the knowledge that this is a little life that God has pre-destined to do great things.
A little life that will go on to learn to walk, talk, do taxes, take the tube, write their own thoughts on some social network of the future, come (hopefully) to know that there is a universe so expansive around her and that beyond all that there is a God who loves her and knows her place in it.
It's that sense of calling, of being known that will stay with me from this Focus. The speakers were great, the worship was amazing, the Spirit of God was in the place - but more than that, was a knowing.
A knowing that as much as I care for this little life who is asleep next to me as I write this, there is a God delighting in her, and me more than I can ever know, or even imagine.
Some shots from the week:
*Mini Milk is going to be our online given name for Baby Poulter 1 as one of the principles we are choosing to honor is not giving Google too good an idea of who she is before she decides to do so herself!