I was able to stay with some very good friends of mine but I only got to see them EARY in the morning when they dropped me off at the convention center, or LATE at night when they had to come get me after it was all over.
I am at this HUGE center and there are people all around. TONS of people. It was actually a bit overwhelming. As I was sitting there waiting for the next session to begin I got this really not so fun feeling inside of me. It was in the pit of my stomach. I went to this conference for a few things. The main was to grow spiritually, but the other was to really learn more and get reminded as to why I am a youth pastor. Well this feeling was not going away and I didnt like it at all. I have never felt this before. I went to get some food, and while I was sitting there eating watching all the people who have come to this together, it hit me. I was lonely. How on earth can you leave small life North Dakota and go to LA where there are more people then I have ever seen in my life and possibly feel lonely? I tried to shrug it off but the longer the day went the worse the feeling was. I had all these people around me, more then I have ever been around in my life probably. And yet I was lonely. I would go to the sessions and PRAY that someone would sit by me who actually wanted to talk. At one point, I was at the night session and I found my seat. It was normally VERY packed, and I wanted to get their early so I was not way in the back again. I found a whole row in the middle that was open so I decided I was going to sit half way through it so people would have to sit by me. A group came and asked if the open seats were taken and I said no. So more and more people started coming. A guy sat down and asked if the 5 chairs to my left were open. I said yes and he sat down right by me and saved the other 4. Well he had some other friends come and looked at me and said, "Oh Im sorry, I was saving these, can you please move." ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
At first I thought I was going to just stand my ground and stay there. I thought I paid just as much as you did to come to this. But then, I realized that it would be awkward for us all through the session if I stayed. So with that every so holy Jesus smile I said, "Im sorry, no problem." Once again feeling lonely.
That night the speaker was really good. I cant totally remember what he all spoke on, but God really spoke to me. I realized that I was not at all relying on Him like I should be. I make myself so busy that I dont really have time to focus on God. I tell all my students and friends that God is always there, and that we should make time for Him, but was I living that. Not at all. It was like He was telling me, "Scot, dude, this is the feeling I have when you ignore me. I have all the people in the world to be around, but I want to be with you." HUGE wake up call. I did some major soul searching and praying that night. The next night I decided that I was going to be with people. I wanted to really worship in the service and just enjoy the last evening of the conference. I went all the way up to the third row. Found a row of empty seats and prayed that I would get to stay there. I sat down and shortly after that a guy came up to me and asked if the open seats were taken. "No, how many do you need?" Just the one he said, he was there alone as well. Then two other people came up and asked for seats, they were also alone. So a group of us loners had a great night of worship. The speaker and music was fantastic. I learned what it was to feel alone. Glad that I have a God that says I dont EVER have to feel that way.
~Learning as I go~