At Shelby Farms near Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday May 20th, 2000, tens of thousands of college students from all over the US and probably from around the globe gathered for “One Day” to seek the face of God for “awakening in this (our) generation”.
I was one.
We endured the rain, the long treks to the bathrooms (port-a-pottys), long lines of people waiting to take a short shower, and sleeping among many tent-cities across the grassy plains.
I was there.
To this day I can still vividly see the panoramic view of college-aged people filling my view, of Charlie Hall, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, and David Crowder singing, Beth Moore, Voddie Baucham, John Piper and Louie Giglio speaking, and for tens of thousands of my generation spending the day in praise, prayer, and many in fasting to seek God’s heart for our generation – we yearned for God to make himself known to us and through us.
This remains my heart’s cry.
About a month ago, Gary at Homileo posted a blog referencing John Piper’s One Day 2000 message and prompted a brief discussion between the two of us about One Day. That has been some years ago now and I haven’t thought about it much lately. Since that time it’s been on my mind from time to time. Recently, as a result of a bookshelf move, my wife and I have re-read some of my past journals. When reading through the journal during this time period, we found an entry I wrote while on the grounds during the One Day festivities. I thought I would quote from my journal (and my 21 year-old self at the time):
“What to say…? Here I lay prone on the field at Shelby Farms that has been set apart for One Day. The day is here! Charlie Hall is on stage right now singing, ‘Give us Clean Hands’. I have no idea what time it is. I assume it’s 11:30am or so. Probably not quite noon, but maybe. I came cynical, but the heart and vision behind One Day and Passion is so pure. To look out across the field and see the tens of thousands college-aged folks gathered for prayer and consecration to God.
“This morning has been a neat time of cleansing and healing. We’ve just been led in some awesome prayer times.
“God, I’ve sinned against you. I’ve broken vows to you. I’ve rebelled against you. I’ve been lazy. I’ve been uncaring. Lord, break my heart for my sin. Give me the love you have for your people.
“What would you have me learn, God? Are you preparing me for Suriname? I pray you would, God. Prepare me for what I might learn from you and your people. Prepare me to be used. Make me usable, Lord.
“There is an awesome hush over the field now. People are everywhere on their faces in prayer to You. Cleanse us, God. Pull out the Ajax and go to work.
“Lord, send your rain. Break our hearts. Give us clean hands and a pure heart. Create in us pure hearts, Oh, God, and renew steadfast spirits wihin us. Prepare us for life, God. Make us Your people. Make us a holy generation. Teach us your ways. Show us Your power. Give us Your Grace. Make us thankful for your unfailing, enduring love.