Written by Ellie Jones
A couple of weeks ago my dad asked me what I’m grateful for, and immediately I responded with patience. Throughout quarantine I’ve realized how important patience is in order to stay connected. In a way, I’ve been able to keep in touch with my friends from the youth group and school because of patience. We’ve been using Zoom and other technology to be able to talk to each other. In order to have online classes, the school had to plan out a schedule so certain classes didn’t overlap with each other. Even though I didn’t attend every class on Zoom, or most of them for that matter, it was especially helpful to have a Zoom for my AP European History class which still had an exam in place. The youth group has also been utilizing Zoom to stay in touch. We would meet on Sundays and Thursdays every week, although now we’re finally starting to meet in person again.
Another time where I noticed patience was a couple weeks ago at the online Montreat Conference for 2020. The new online set-up included videos of each day’s welcoming message, a speaker, and “Faith Out Loud,” which was an interview with someone. Overall, it worked really well with almost no problems except for a rough start at the beginning. The weekend before our conference, Montreat had no power and couldn’t upload their videos until Monday. This led us to combine Monday and Tuesday in order to finish the week on time. After that, everything worked fine. On Friday, which was the last day, we usually have a candlelight service around Lake Susan, and to honor this, they made a worship video which was the only one with music in it. It was a beautiful close to the week, and I loved how they closed the conference in such a meaningful way.
Everyone that week was patient, and we were able to have a great week full of good discussions despite the conference being online. I know that the leaders at Montreat had to be patient when they were without power. They had to upload the videos and explain to everyone what happened and how we could get to the videos. I know that Linzi used patience that weekend dealing with the delay and not having any response for an extended amount of time while also informing the rest of us with what was going on. I know that our small group was patient too. During our Monday morning Zoom, we didn’t have any videos, so we just talked about how we have been doing. That afternoon, we came to the decision to combine Monday and Tuesday, and it ended up being a great week. No one decided to give up on the Montreat conference despite how many obstacles there were, and I’m grateful for that also.
At the end of week service, the band that played at Triennium played my favorite song. I first heard this song called “Reckless Love” at NaCoMe, and it stuck with me ever since. So I was sitting there singing along to my favorite song and couldn’t help but think about all of the memories I have made at Montreat, Triennium, and NaCoMe. I became so overwhelmed that I started crying. For the first time, I understood how much I was going to miss this summer, and it hit me hard.
This is why I’m grateful for patience. Even though things haven’t been great, I know that they can get better. I’ve been patient, and slowly things have started opening up again. Last week I was able to meet with the Student Leadership Team for the first time in person since the church closed down. So even though I won’t be able to go to all the places that I love, I can still make memories with the people that I care about even if it is a couple extra feet apart.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.