I would be doing all these things at the age of 21, which is what I’ve wanted to do my entire life, but a tiny little 4 letter word changed all of that: Perú.
I think back to what I heard in 8th grade English class, and how I learned it my freshman year of college:
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”And considering the fact that my human plans above went awry, I find myself on this graduation day sitting in my bed sick with a sinus congestion and sore throat in Southern Peru writing this blog.
In reality, I can’t be more thankful that God brought me here even though it might seem to you like I regret it, I do not in the least bit. I think about how much I’ve changed and how much I’ve been stretched and I can’t help but be thankful for the blessings I’ve received in going through so much down here. I look at my plans above and I think of those piercing words that Jesus said:
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”I was definitely on track to gain the whole world and forfeit my soul at the same time, the same state many of you are in today. I was in that American bubble and I had to come here and live here to realize it. Sometimes I look back and I think if I would have been one who said “Lord, Lord” but failed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And my fear is that many of you are in this category, whether you don’t realize it (like me) or whether you do have a conviction of it.
I’m studying 1 Samuel in the mornings now, and I found how much my testimony was like that of king Saul before coming down here (taken from 1 Samuel 14-15). Like Saul, I had the outward pretentions of being a man of God, a worshiper of the Lord, a builder of altars, and a man of prayer. But just like Saul, it was all surfacie. I was stubborn, I was self-righteous, and I did religious things because “that’s what you do.” I was all outside in my faith. But God still used Saul to defeat nations upon nations, and that’s what God has done with me.
Why do I share this with you? My prayer is that one of you will also take the leap that I took. My prayer is that you would leave your lukewarm state and do something radical. I told a short termer that came that he should be a missionary and I was dead serious. His all-too-quick answer was, “I have 3 kids and a wife.” And I said, “I think you, your wife, and your three kids should be missionaries.” Don’t be the one that has excuses, every single one of you can step it up today, and that’s the purpose of this blog. Don’t gain the world and forfeit your soul.
I do look back and I do think about where I’d be, but then I give myself a reality check and remember how much God has molded and matured me. I want to see that in you, dear reader, and believe me no excuse will do. This applies to everyone: be different and do something that changes the world.
(In the airport May 17, 2010)