10,000 souls

I'm sitting in the 6 AM meeting, where the prayer focus is our annual OneThing Conference December 28-31.

Well, not the conference itself - it'll be chaotic and insanse as a highly motivated yet entirely volunteer crew hosts several days of meetings on a colossal scale. That will be what it will be. This morning, the focus is on the 10,000 attendees - the youth groups, the families, the college age kids who will flood to Kansas City from across the continent.

As the prayer leaders pray, a refrain that the singers keep picking up is "ten thousand souls...".

This morning that phrase has captured my heart and imagination. Ten thousand souls. Not 10,000 conference goers. Not 10,000 potential book store customers. Not 10,000 people in front of me in line at TacoBell. Ten thousand souls

To put it in perspective, imagine if on 9/12/01, the day after the World Trade Centers fell, another two planes hit another two buildings, exactly the same size as the day before. Then on the 13th, again. On the 14th, one more plane hits a building before the carnage stops.

That is ten thousand souls.

Think of it as four Pearl Harbor attacks.

That is ten thousand souls.

Imagine if the Titanic sunk, along with six others like it.

That is ten thousand souls.

I want to start thinking of it like that, because these 10,000 people...ten thousand souls...are facing an end, if not as dramatic, every bit as final as the victims of 9/11, Pearl Harbor or the Titanic disaster. The day after their deaths, it will not matter to them how death came to them. What will matter is if they were prepared for it when it happened.

There is a weight on this conference like I have not felt before. Maybe it's because we're a year further down the line on God's timeline. Maybe it's because we're more awake than we were a year ago.

Whatever the case, we are feeling the heaviness of having some measure of responsibility for ten thousand souls.

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