This year at Life Focus, we studied the planets; not just the planets in our astronomical solar system (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and the five dwarf planets) but also the many "planets" of our lives (Conversion, Worship, Love, Scripture, Prayer, Money, Marriage and Missions respectively). Everyday we had an informative lecture at first to explain the physical aspects of the planets we were going to discuss in the next few lectures. These were to help us understand what each planet was like then how that can be seen in a metaphor sometimes to apply to the different "planets" of our lives. We started with the Sun, the center of our universe. It can be analogized that the Sun is a metaphor for God, but we were thoroughly warned not to focus so much on the sun that we make it an Idol.
"The universe should be a springboard to worshiping and glorifying God." Pastor Brad Johnston kept reminding us this for every different topic we discussed. Generally I would go on to say which of the topics was my favorite, but it is hard to choose from the eight different "planets" of your soul. I was able to learn so much about the immensity of the Universe and how God is even more immense than that. For example, in our own solar system, using a scaled model of the sun and measuring in feet from there, each of the planets, we discovered that the inner solar system (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) are relatively close in comparison to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Jupiter was about one thousand feet from Saturn, Uranus was somewhere around Four Thousand feet from Saturn and at the halfway point to Uranus we stopped because Neptune was just a few hundred feet over a MILE from Uranus. Space is massive and yet perfectly and mysteriously beautiful as it points to its creator in Psalm 19. Understanding this was one of the most mind blowing and exciting things for me this week. Along with this, how to apply Christocentric theology to my life continues to encourage, teach and sanctify my own daily walk.
The talks were only one part of this last statement. One of the purposes of LifeFocus I have always been excited for is being able to be surrounded by the Church here and learn from how they live. We get the blessing most evenings to be hosted by different families of the church who feed us with food and best of all how they live out their faith. They take us into their home and become transparent for our sake, letting us glimpse at their family devotions and interactions with their children and others. It is almost a sneak peak at how I have often imagined heaven to be, though on a much more perfect scale of course. These blessed times have probably made the most impact on my own daily life and how I hope to eventually lead my own family.
The final thing I must mention is the other believers I have had the opportunity to share eight days with. I have made new friends and rekindled older friendships but there is something about living with a group of believers that can change and affect you on a far deeper scale than you could ever imagine. There were times when we would just break out singing Psalms or just begin a theological discussion on something we were thinking about. It truly is as Christ instructed us to be, treating older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers and younger women as sisters in all purity. Although not entirely perfect, a week with a group like this goes by and you become very close to family focused on learning about and growing closer God in everything. If I was ever asked by someone if they should go to LifeFocus, I would without hesitations tell them they should. It is a momentous week of living, growing and encouraging I feel everyone should experience at least once.
Sterling Fulk, IN