After the conference, I was hungry for more. I started reading the rest of those books from which we read, I started ordering other books by the same authors, and a started keeping a blog. From all of this a monster was created. The roots of all my theological musings are in that little getaway and in the mystery of the kingdom of God. I was thrust forth into this ominous direction in which things are far more beautiful and difficult than I ever knew.
I was reminded of just how formative the Team 2 conference was when, three weeks ago, the Young Adult Bible Study group at our church began trudging through a little book called Adventures in Missing the Point, by Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo, in which years ago I read, for the first time, these words and this message:
"God wants this kingdom to become established on earth, now!... God's kingdom is a new society that Jesus wants to create in this world--within human history, not after the second coming or a future apocalypse or anything else. But right now."
After I suggested that we read this book and I started reading through it again, I remembered where I am and from where I have come. I remembered how incredible and awe inspiring these ideas were to me and how greatly they have shaped who I am. You never know just how influential a book or an event (or, in this case, both) can be in your life until years later when you look back at your life and see a glimpse of who you were and who you are now. I am thankful for the influence of YLI, for people like Angie and Robin Dugall, and for books like Adventures in Missing the Point, The Challenge of Jesus, and The Divine Conspiracy. And I am thankful that the dream called the Kingdom of God, Jesus' dream, has shaped my imagination as it has... because it could have been something else...