Zion, Illinois | 21 years old
This is Justin Langley reporting from night watch in Manitou Springs, Colorado. As a 21 year old senior in college, I am well acquainted with the late (or should I say early?) hours. However, I never expected to spend half my summer pulling all-nighters.
It’s funny, though, how God doesn’t seem bothered by our expectations. So I find myself here on night watch – making hourly rounds around the Summit hotel, making midnight airport runs, emptying trash, folding laundry, cleaning dishes, sweeping, mopping, and bonding with my three teammates over dinner and Dutch Blitz.
Any ministry has many practical aspects, but night watch has been much more than security and janitorial work. I’ve gained some insight into the psalmist’s life when he wrote, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.” As we make our rounds throughout the hotel, collecting sticky-note prayer requests, and as we pass the homes of our beloved Summit faculty, my team of night watchers has had the great privilege to pray for our students and staff.
A month ago I might have wondered how stale my prayers could be after praying for the same things over and over again. But in practicing prayer without ceasing, and meditating day and night on the Word, God has blessed me with fresh thoughts and depth of insight. I have not only been placed into the shoes of David (and what big shoes they are to fill), but I have been reminded also of the persistent widow in Luke 18, as the importance of constant prayer becomes clearer each day.
Working at a Summit student conference has not only been an exercise in spiritual discipline and leadership, but an enormous encouragement. In a world that is losing its mind, promoting unthinkable ideologies and behaviors, it is such a breath of fresh air to be surrounded by ambitious students, compassionate staffers, and discerning faculty. It is reassuring to know that there are Christians throughout the nation working tirelessly to advance the kingdom of God.
At Summit I can see what our president, Dr. Jeff Myers, sees: “future politicians, future authors, future scientists, great moms and dads.” I see the parts of Christ’s body coming together to “engage the culture and stand for truth with courage and compassion.” I see a generation rising up to take their place. I see strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Really, I’ve been amazed at how much I’m able to see in the night.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2