“No Turning Back” was the seventh GYC conference that I’ve attended. I started attending in 2004 and never missed a GYC conference since then. However, as I’ve come to know the circle of friends who were intimately connected with the movement ever since it started, those who were there in 2002 and 2003, I often hear the sentiment that goes something like this: GYC is just not the same anymore. Back then, it was small, intimate, and organic – truly like an upper room experience. There were no strangers. Everywhere you turn and wherever you sit for a meal, you only meet fellow brothers and sisters. Those two first conferences seem to be so powerful that the impression just lasts for a lifetime, and no matter how good a subsequent GYC conference is, it simply cannot top 2002 and 2003. As a matter of fact, even though I wasn’t there, the conference that impacted my life most drastically was GYC 2003.
This phenomenon occurred to me as a fitting illustration for the point of this entry, which is the following: Once you’ve tasted something marvelous, you just can’t turn back. It seems to me that those who attended GYC 2002 and 2003 kept going back (chronologically) to their experiences then because they could not turn back from that first, refreshing encounter with God as a movement. They’ve tasted something good; those conferences had become the standard, and anything less than that will not do.
Not turning back becomes something that is very easy to do when you know what’s ahead of you is better than what you’ve left behind (although not impossible). While our experiences attending a GYC conference may not always be so revolutionary that our standard and expectation increase every time, with God, we don’t have to fear disappointment. God can always top our past experiences with Him and He will do a new thing. Incidentally I believe that He is doing a new thing at every GYC. The glory of GYC 2004-2010 may not be the same as the first ones, but God’s glory still was present.
We can’t make commitments to not turn back with gritted teeth, peering back on occasions to the things that we’ve left behind. The issue is, have we seen and tasted the goodness of the Lord? And if we have, we can ask for more and more, so that we don’t have to have the aching longing for the things that used to be. As we walk with Him, our level of satisfaction will increase, and He will always fulfill it. No turning back, then, will be so natural.
Now that I’ve come this far, it’s too late to turn back.