This summer I’ve been around a bit, probably the most I have any summer. This was mainly because I had a longer summer due to finishing A-Levels and having 3 months to spare, I also got more opportunities to go places. I will avoid giving you a narrative and rather just give some highlights from my adventures, generally in the UK and generally Christian events except the first one. I’ve decided to split this up a bit as I don’t want the posts to get too long!
So since about last October or so my college friends and I started talking about a summer holiday together. As the year went on it took shape and in the end eight of us booked a holiday in Spain near Barcelona. Weren’t staying at a hotel but on a camping park in two mobile homes, one with the four guys and one for the four girls. Despite none of my friends being committed Christians, most not being religious at all, I was lucky enough that they were not the type of people to go out drinking too often and wanted nothing to do with drugs etc. (For me, looking at people at college generally, I really was lucky). So I was confident that we wouldn’t go crazy and stupid things. I had been praying for opportunities to talk about my faith during this intense 6 days with my friends.
The flight was fine, not everyone had flown before and some just didn’t like it but we didn’t have any problems and managed to find our way out of Barcelona airport to the train to take us to the town of Vilanova and then a bus to the camping park. The mobile homes were small but not too small and had decking outside with table and chairs where we ate our meals. Over the week we took advantage of the swimming pools and other facilities onsite (there was adventure golf!) and went to the beach in Vilanova one day, to Barcelona another and to Aqualeone (a water park with safari – who would think to put those together?!) another. We also had our fair share of arguments; mainly between the girls, which unfortunately has led to a more permanent breakup of friendship between one and the other three.
But anyway it was the evening of day four and I had had no clear opportunity to talk about God and my faith, so naturally I was thinking “Come on God I prayed for this, why haven’t you delivered?” I really believe God has a sense of humour because that evening what was to become the centre of conversation between me and the other three guys but religion! And I had nothing to do with steering it that way. We had a pretty open discussion for about an hour where I could really put forward my beliefs and justify some of them and could really hear where they were at. We decided to call it a night but when we went to bed I spent another hour talking to the guy I was sharing my room with (who happened to be my best mate) about his faith journey from atheism where he found there was no hope and nothing to look forward to, to searching for more meaning to his life. I talked more about my faith and how Jesus fulfilled that need for me and he is now genuinely looking to explore the Christian faith more. Afterwards I did say a little “thank you” and “sorry” to God for doubting Him! It’s a real pity I won’t have a close relationship now that we are off to different universities but I am happy to know I helped him on his journey.
Has anyone else had an experience of having a deep conversation with a friend that you think has been really constructive? Or maybe been on the receiving end and it really affected them? Or really not for that matter?
As a general note, I think it’s easy for Christians to think they should shy away from situations like this holiday because they don’t want to fall into temptation. But if you can trust your friends not to push you into doing anything you don’t want to, I say go for it and be an example to them and find ways you can unforcefully tell them about what you believe, it really works!
Next post about my two adventures in Shepton Mallet (Bath and West Showground) where I was lucky enough to be at both New Wine and Soul Survivor!