What do Doritos, Sprite, and gum have in common?
You probably didn’t guess it, but…sexuality.
We found ourselves on the road somewhere around daybreak when normal people know better than to be out of bed. And then as the clock cornered 11PM, I found myself lightly chatting at the encounters café with a fellow from way up north. It’d been a long day.
The truth of the matter is that I wasn’t sure what to expect here in Dallas this weekend. I’ve been to many of these events and was even here a year ago for JCI. But the young adult component has really added a flare and pre-registration seems worth it after less than 24hours away from the usual. We went from a deep discussion on sexuality to rolling off the edge of our seats laughing about chicken and fish. Don’t worry, I’ll start explaining some.
Of course in between servings, we’ve hugged old friends, matched faces with screen names, and gathered plenty of resources to take back home. IGNITION for me so far has been about recharging, reconnecting, and getting hooked up with the right resources. This is definitely an effective use of my weekend, and I’m not just saying that to make myself feel better. I’m saying that because God is present here. I feel Him and I am excited about what He’s got in store.
So that sexuality thing…yeah, a touchy subject right before lunch. Well, Adrienne Townsend brought it down to earth and laid things on the table. Together in small groups we faced the issue with open discussion on the impact of the media and the various ways we come to understand sexuality through our life experience. “This is a hard topic for guys,” a man at my table remarked. I was thinking this is a hard topic for strangers making first impressions. But that’s the unique thing about our Adventist gatherings, we’ve already established the fact that we’re family.
But anyways, the Doritos & Sprite idea was presented as a practical technique for presenting sexuality to teens in church. There was a general call for those with ideas implemented in their local area to come to the mic and share how young adults can combat the messages the media influentially sends to our young people regarding sex. It’s simple, place everyone in a line and give them some Doritos to chew on without swallowing. Then add some Sprite and have them savor in the tasty moment. Next step – spit it into a cup and pass it to your buddy next to you in line. How’s that for a visual aid?
Just as you can piece the above object lesson together, Townsend illustrated the before and after effects of giving yourself away with pieces of gum. Even when we collect all the pieces of gum and try to form the stick again, the change is visible. But that’s where Jesus comes in – He can make us whole.
And maybe that’s what Eddy Hypolite was getting at with his hilarious enactment of “The Nasty Lit’le Girl” who Jesus used to educate the self-righteous unwilling to cast the first stone. He spoke to the heart about the Truth, “Truth isn’t a teaching, Truth is a person.” Hypolite was fresh, but more importantly real. By the end of the message, I believe we were all ready to exchange the 28 Fundamental approach for the commonsensical Truth.
There’s much more, but getting less than 5 hours of sleep is not the most ideal writing situation. I’ll be back with more of what’s charging here at IGNITION later tonight, but in case you were skeptical…it’s worth the $115 and long weekend. My new friend at the cafe put it nicely, “I’m not used to this. It’s awesome to see people my age, of my faith, and so ready to serve God.”