The Skit Guys, sign language, 21 hours to fly coast to coast (yeah, it shouldn’t take that long), a whole lotta kids… these were the elements of this past weekend. Wow… I’m tired!
The weekend started at 6AM Friday morning with a mechanical failure that left me sitting on a plane on the Sacramento runway for 2 hours. Eventually, United Airlines gave up trying to fix it and returned us to the gate exactly two minutes after the door shut on another flight just two gates away that would have also brought me to the East Coast. By this time, I had had no chance of hitting my connecting flight in Chicago. The chances of getting to Maryland by the end of the day were looking pretty slim. And I was scheduled to speak to over 3,000 kids at 9AM the next morning.
I scanned flight itineraries and looked for any hopes for getting to the East Coast. After an hour of researching flights, sweet talking ticket agents (buying them Starbucks), I somehow secured a seat on an overbooked Friday afternoon flight that would land in Chicago around 8PM with high hopes for a late Baltimore connection. Over four hours later (yeah… sitting in the airport) I boarded a plane to Chicago, knowing that getting from Chicago to Maryland would be another feat.
Once I landed in Chicago, the Baltimore flight had been delayed and looked slim, so I began searching the terminal for any remaining flights that brought me within driving distance of Maryland. Next thing I know I was squeezed on a Washington Reagan flight where I landed at 11:30 PM, was picked up just before midnight, and driven 3 hours to my destination in Ocean City. I went to bed at 4AM and set my alarm for 8AM.
Saturday I spoke to the huge crowd at 9AM, then did my all day seminar in two chunks with a quick nap in between, ending at 11PM. I slept for 6 hours Saturday night, spoke again Sunday AM, finished training immediately after and then was driven 3 hours to the Baltimore airport. 13 hours later I was back home.
Whew! I’m tired just typing it all!
30+ hours of travel aside… the weekend was a blast! The event was put on by Metro-Maryland Youth for Christ in the huge convention center in Ocean City. 3700 chairs were set up and it looked pretty packed.
The programming on mainstage was smooth, with bands like Hawk Nelson and entertainment like the Skit Guys. If you aren’t familiar with Tom and Eddie, you should check out their website (SkitGuys.com). Hilarious! The kids loved them. They always do a great job. Side note: The two of them joined me for a quick training video as one of the new resources we’ll be launching on our Training Tools page in the next month. Fun stuff.
Funny, when I gave my keynote to the big audience, the lights were so bright I could only see the first two rows. But when the audience laughed, you quickly realized that there were thousands in the room! I gave a message on getting alone and getting real with God. I recorded it. We might make it available for an upcoming podcast on our free podcast page.
I also did my CONNECT training workshop for a few hundred of the youth workers and led them through the stickynote training. What a fun group. We premiered our brand new “six types of kids” training video that no one has seen before. They loved it. I’ll be sharing that with you guys soon too.
Another funny moment on stage both during my keynote and in my training workshop was when I noticed that there was a lady assigned to do sign language during my talks (there were a few deaf people in the audience). I started watching her when I would say certain words- fascinating stuff. I finally just walked over to her during my training and started having fun with her. You see… one of my training videos referred to someone as being a “turd.” So I asked her, “How did you sign turd?” The audience laughed… she said that she just spelled it. So every time I said something weird or off the wall, I kept looking at her to see how she would sign it… sometimes I even added adjectives to see what she would do. We had a great time! The audience gave her a big hand for putting up with me!
I’m home now, I’m exhausted… but what a rewarding weekend! God is so good!
Thanks to Metro Maryland Youth for Christ for putting on that fun event. They did a phenomenal job!