On Sunday, 21 July I arrived in Budapest, Hungary to join a group of about thirty young people from nine different countries. We all came to join the “Csillagpont” (Hungarian for Starpoint) festival organized and held by the Reformed Church of Hungary. The festival is held in Mezőtúr and very well known in Hungary with over 4000 Hungarians joining the fifth Starpoint festival it truly promises to be a mind blowing event.
On Monday morning all of the international participants met in a very suitable place, in front of the Church where Calvin used to preach during his time in Budapest. We had a wonderful guided tour of Budapest and got to know one another better.
It is wonderful to spend time with young people from all over the globe sharing our visions, ideas and experiences. I am here to represent the Dutch Reformed Church from South Africa and it is a great privilege to be the first South African to be associated with the Starpoint festival.
We travelled from Budapest to Mezőtúr today and the train ride was filled with enthusiasm and excitement about finally getting to the long awaited festival. On the station we were welcomed by a group playing some traditional Hungarian music. Unfortunately some of the excitement was soon gone after standing outside of the entrance gates for about an hour and a half waiting for the registration process to be finalized so that we could settle in.
Even though the waiting was very frustrating, I had to remind myself that we are human beings and we are living in an imperfect world with structures and systems formed and shaped by us and sometimes only understood by some of us. At some stage the system works and then we should appreciate it and maybe adapt it, but that is a part of life.
At 19h00 the opening worship service took place and it was brief but strong. The preacher reminded everybody of the reasons we are here and the different things that has an effect on our coming to the festival, he read Psalm 90 and spoke about some things that we can control and others that we can’t. The first thing that came to my mind was the waiting in front of the gate. Even though the preachers sermon was about God’s plan for our being here, there was a different sermon awaiting me.
I realized that that being so busy all the time thinking about changing structures and systems is stealing a lot of my valuable time. All the time that we stood in front of the gate I was focused on the problem and how I would have had something in place to make it better. Instead I could have used the time getting to know the people who are here with me. The sermon for me was more about the importance of living and absorbing the moment rather than missing it. I had to remind myself about a sermon that I once heard about rather regretting what you did that doing nothing.
This Starpoint festival certainly has the potential to change a lot of lives, renew a lot of beliefs and change a lot of minds. I am certainly looking forward to seeing the “Places of epiphany” where human hearts and minds meet’s with our Triune God and something unexplainable (for our limited human languages) happens. I am sure that there is a special meeting awaiting every participant.