Last evening at Betty Wiseman's home, the 2011 team gathered for a time of fellowship, trip packing, and prayer. After filling up on lasagna, KFC chicken, fresh corn, salad, and a to-die-for chocolate cake, the group sat together to hear Betty talk about a different sort of Biblical fasting that applies to the digital age. The concept of leaving something behind for a period of time so that one's focus is concentrated on our relationship with God is repeated throughout the Bible. In a world of iPhones, headsets, Facebook, and instant information we tend to be tethered, technologically, to the world around us and more easily distracted from things of a spiritual nature. B-Dub suggested that each member of the team make plans to disconnect from distractions as the team gathers next week to travel to Italy. Un-tethering for a time would mean that the forward focus of the team is concentrated on the needs of those who will be touched by a week of ministry led by student athletes and not restrained by anything that might pull the group backward to the hectic, always connected, lives we live stateside.
To hear the words spoken in prayer as the gathering ended, this team is ready. There is a genuine sense of calling to the mission before this team. There is an enormous amount of gratitude toward those whose gifts are making this trip possible. There is already a growing kinship among the team members that will grow and become contagious. There are numerous prayers for spiritual growth, individually and as a team, that will be powerfully answered. There are lives who will be touched and changed forever during this trip.
The next time the team meets as a group will be at the Nashville airport... Un-tethered and focused forward.