I'm fighting sleep in Macomb, Illinois, as I wait for a midnight concert by Over the Rhine to cap off my first day at the Cornerstone Christian Music Festival. I spoke here this morning to a tent full of high school students, and since then I've been realizing that North Carolina is quickly becoming my favorite state.
I've reconnected with one person here and met fifteen to twenty others, nearly all of whom live in North Carolina, all of whom are remarkably thoughtful, wildly creative and wonderfully hospitable. I've been to North Carolina only once, for a conference in Charlotte, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and now I'm wondering if there's something in the water that makes people there cool. It's just a theory, of course . . .
I spoke on the challenge of abandoning our wrong ideas about God without being abandoned by God. It went fine, I suppose, although I could have benefited from one more cup of coffee before I went up. The general idea was that our ideas about God aren't necessarily transferable from vicissitude to vicissitude, but that they become comfortable and so we cling to them when we should be clinging to God. So the challenge is to lean into the discomfort of living without failed ideas of God, in the hope that God himself will sustain us. Or something like that. I feel sorry for the poor folks who drove all the way in from my favorite state just to hear that, although at least they have a long, long road trip to decipher it.