For that summer, it felt like everything happened inside that big top tent. If it looked like a circus in our corner of the Bronx, it was because our church purchased a borrowed red and white mega tent from a supplier used to selling to carnivals and county fairs. And while there were no “Water For Elephants” characters roaming the grounds, there were enough of us causing mischief enough for whole novels of our own.
While the pastor would stand on the podium preaching the Word, we were at the corners of the tent playing matchmakers. While the Bible workers made their way around the crowd looking for souls to bring to the Lord, the boys were making their final pitches like, “Write your number on this fan and I’ll get at you later.”
Even though our minds were elsewhere, for others that summer the big tent was about getting things right with the one upstairs. Making sure your priorities were in check, that your goals were still clear and that the haze that surrounded most things would overtake your heart. The revival was about connection. Right before the frenzy of fall, those last concrete hot days of summer were about staying in tune with the reason you were put here and making sure your spirit and mind were in the right place.
I missed the point then caught up in getting big girl Mary Janes and mouthing along with 112 lyrics, but on days like this I embrace the concept of the revival. It suggests that even in this life I have now made more complicated with student loans, heart games and career questions, that there is still a chance to be renewed.
Finding the time to renew my passions and refresh my grind often feels like it will never come, but it doesn’t take a mega tent to let the spirit come in. In the quiet moments alone, in the downtime I would use to zone out, I am choosing instead to fully engage myself and remember the person that the younger me dreamed I could be. Often times, we need to have personal revivals if only to bring back to life the dreams that have withered away.
Today, remind yourself that there is still time to be the person you once thought you would. Commit to yourself in every moment you can and bring in your own revival.