Every single year at Greenbelt, I find myself lost. Not necessarily physically lost, although there is surely great beauty in allowing my control-loving-map-clutching self to do that and the truly magical layout of the site does mean adventure around every corner.
I’m talking more about realising and embracing my spiritual and very human lostness. I don’t know about everyone else but more often than not, I’m journeying through life at 100mph with a sense of desperation to have it all together, to be successful and strong and be able to endure gracefully and with great grit anything that crosses my path. I want to trust God without question and be sure of his purposes for me. I don’t want to be lost. I long for the answers and for knowledge and ultimately, have a plan, a route and know the ending just as I am beginning.
What I have come to love about Greenbelt is, that unlike many Christian festivals and events, I am not expected to be any of the above.
I can dare to acknowledge that in most areas of my life, I’m lost and that’s more than ok. I can let my guard down, take a much needed breath and join with many other pilgrims on the journey who also identify with lostness.
One of the things I realised several years ago is that lostness can be a very healthy position. Though it may be contrary to how we operate on an everyday basis, I feel there is great value in allowing ourselves to discard the map, the constructed ideas of what we should be and exactly how we should be it. To be lost and be ok with it. There would have been a time when seriously, I would have scanned the programme of events, knowing which speakers I would listen to and which I would consider not my thing or just not relevant to where I was heading. How I had missed out.
So from one lost person to another, my encouragement to anyone going to Greenbelt is this; allow yourself to get lost. Well and truly lost. Listen to something you consider out of your sphere of interest. Acknowledge the ever present limitations of your own understanding and experience and seek to learn from other pilgrims. I don’t think any of us will ever regret it.
So, experience most, embrace all and perhaps I’ll bump into you somewhere on the journey. I’ll be the lost one with the torn up map.