From the Rev: Deja Vu
Three years, nearly to the day, CrossTraining held its annual retreat just before the Colorado Rapids home opening match against the Portland Timbers. CrossTraining team members and board advisors gathered in the mountains to pray and discuss the future of the ministry as the 2011 Major League Soccer season was about to get underway. The time together wrapped up with the game in which the Rapids beat the Timbers 3-1.
Last night, driving home after the Rapids won 2-0 against the same Timbers, I reflected on the game, the 2014 retreat that had just wrapped up and the ministry of CrossTraining, with an overwhelming sense of deja vu. In some ways, I wondered just how far CrossTraining had come and whether the last few years had been just a blur for the ministry. Let me share some of my thoughts:
First, I was sad that Ben Dudley (chaplain with the Portland Timbers) wasn’t still with CrossTraining. I recall the neat time we shared together in the same retreat house, the energy that we felt from partnering together and sharing vision and passion around providing care for the athletes and coaches that we served. The retreat was a time of bonding and building.
But while Ben wasn’t with us this year – there were other, new faces; relationships being formed – Cody Baker, Hugo Venegas, Bob Grizzle. So in the moment of sadness, I found a sense of joy and comfort, and thanks. God, you’ve brought other people into my life, to share in the ministry and the work – thank you.
Second, the beauty of the place – if you have seen the pictures, then you know that we enjoyed some of the finest views of God’s creation. Each and every year that I have been at the Columbine Ranch and the Kenosha House, I have been awed by the views of the mountains and the beauty of Colorado as well as the history of the house and South Park.
As I sat by the fireplace reflecting on the beauty of the place, this song came to my mind. The words are a powerful expression of some of the feelings that come during times of rest and retreat. We definitely need mountain-top experiences, but the truth is that we live and dwell in the valleys. And we come back home and to the ministry to the Rapids, I asked, Lord, what things; what difficult things will you be leading me and others through in the valley?
Finally, in looking back to 2011, there was a different kind of energy and excitement – the Rapids had just won the 2010 MLS Cup, we had an expanding team, there were a couple of board advisors present with us. This year – there was not the same feeling of success on the field to speak of, but there was a sense of momentum as an organization: three team members (out of four) and three board members (out of four). We prayed together, shared together, grew together in our understanding of one another and our commitment to the ministry.
Sometimes God calls us to walk in ancient paths that seem familiar to us – in fact, he tells us to look for those ancient ways and to walk in them (Jeremiah 6:16). And even though this past weekend carried a sense of the familiar, it’s familiarity has more to do with seeking God. For CrossTraining to carry on and continue, we need to lean heavily into what his will and the work that he is doing. And, God willing, he will bless it as we look to him.
Rev. Brad Kenney