OK OK OK…so yes….my friends tease me endlessly along the lines of being drawn in by the teachings of Rob Bell. Do I listen to his sermons? Yes. Do I read his books? Yes. Do I watch the videos? Yes. And now I am guilty of flying across the country to spend 2 Days with Rob Bell in Laguna Beach, CA. If this is the definition of a “bro-mance” then I am guilty.
What was really quite awesome was that when I finally got the courage to reveal the label “bro-mance” to a handful of other male pastor-types that were there, they burst out laughing. Not at me or the label my family and friends have placed on this ten year consumption of teachings, but at the shared experience. They too, being an audience of Rob Bell’s teachings, had a similar “bro-mance” with him. Regardless of tradition, theology, politics, geographical region, occupation, or even gender…nearly everyone I spoke with was accused in jest (one way or another, one label or another) of having a “bro-mance” with Rob Bell. As I said at the beginning of this paragraph, this I found really, quite awesome.
I’m not sure what I expected going into this experience. I’m not sure I actually expected anything. If I am being honest with myself, I was likely a bit ‘star struck’ with the idea on the front end of the experience. It was a bit surreal. A flight across country, a drive to a hotel on the coast just south of Los Angeles, a run on the beach, the sunset my first night awaiting the event to start the next morning, wake up, run the beach again, get coffee, go to a small room with no more that 50 people, Rob Bell on a chair in the front of the room, and have a conversation. Weird. Strange. I am still in deep ‘processing’ mode from this 2 Day experience with Rob Bell. I think I will be in ‘processing’ mode for quite some time.
What it did prove itself to be was nothing short of phenomenal. One of our conversations led us to the topic of ‘simplicity beyond complexity’. In some ways, I feel that is what I’m experiencing now, a simplicity beyond complexity. Strangely, I can’t quite recall a whole lot of ‘new’ material that I gained the past couple of days (there is nothing new under the sun). However, I do find my mind processing something, my gut churning something, my soul experiencing something. I just can’t quite articulate it…yet.
I intend to randomly, upon moments of inspiration (hoping they come) to unpack some thoughts, ideas, feelings, experiences, and moments from this 2 Day getaway. I will not necessarily offer up clear answers or riveting insights, nor will I divulge confidential information (yes…it was a very open, safe, honest environment for everyone there…including Rob). That information, that ‘stuff’ is and will always be held back to honor those there, to preserve the moment and space we all shared. What I will BLOG about is what those people, that space, that experience did and is doing to me. Not for your benefit…but for mine.
My first cut…short…sweet…off the cuff? The Spirit was present…the Spirit moved…the Spirit worked. That is all I can share…that is all I know. No boundaries, no definitions, nothing concrete other than the Spirit was present.
Go ahead world…knock my “bro-mance”, tease my long distance one-way relationship with Rob, and poke fun at my willingness to spend that kind of money on such a vague unstructured Con Ed event…go ahead world…my only response to you?
I was well worth it…