Running Out of Worship
I recently returned from the 2015 RZIM Summer Institute. Hosted by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, the event is a week-long submersion into a world of worship, academics, and Christian apologetics.
I wasn’t supposed to be there. My wife’s due date was right in the middle of the conference, which was held in Atlanta. But our son came early. And so, I was able to attend the Summer Institute.
Maybe I was supposed to be there.
Every day had a similar structure, beginning with breakfast followed by a period of song and worship. I placed my breakfast plate on a standing table where my roommates sipped coffee and talked about the day’s events.
The four of us shared an on-campus dormitory suite for the week. One roommate was from Richmond, another was from India, and another was from Peru.
Someone had poured a full glass of apple juice.
“I can’t drink that anymore,” I said.
“Why?” my roommate asked.
“It’s had an effect on our children when they were younger,” I said. They looked confused. I tried to clarify without violating breakfast etiquette.
“Well, I’ll just say their system doesn’t handle it well,” I replied, and left it at that.
I hadn’t had apple juice in years, and I assumed it would affect me in a similar fashion.
Then a strange thing happened. I craved apple juice.
I decided to have a glass.
I thought about the upcoming time of worship followed by the hour-long presentations given by scholars you’d give anything not to miss.
The apple juice was a gamble.
I looked at my roommates. “Well, I guess if you see me run out of the worship hall, you’ll know why,” I said.
Ten minutes into worship, they began to play a song I knew well. I knew instantly it would be trouble. This song was connected to my church, and the church was connected to my pastor, and my pastor was connected to my son. When I heard the song at our church after Boone was born, I almost ran out.
But this week was too much. I got up and walked toward the back and out the door.
I can only imagine what my roommates were thinking.
About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.