Since at that time I was a youth minister, we were put into the small group for youth and college leaders (and by "small" group, I mean the 1000+ "grown-ups" who were there). Our leader was a short little Asian man named Francis Chan; not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed that we didn't have Louie Giglio or Chris Tomlin or one of the other "big" names leading us. However, within just a few minutes of Chan speaking, I couldn't have been more thankful for his leadership. He is a man who has been challenged (and is thus challenging) people to take God and His Word literally.
Well, since then, he's written 2 books...do yourself a favor and pick at least one of them up. I read "Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a relentless God" when it came out a couple of years ago and had just started re-reading it when Jason gave me his newest book, "Forgotten God: Reversing our tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit." I just finished it a couple of days ago, and let me tell you, I can't get past it. There are a couple of paragraphs that are haunting me, and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with them. Here they are...
"I don't want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn't be doing this by my own power. I want to live in such a way that I am desperate for Him to come through. That if He doesn't come through, I am screwed. (I probably shouldn't write that word here, but it's how I truly feel about this." (p. 142)
[I love his apology there at the end...that's for you, Mom and Pud. :)]
And the other is this:
"No matter where you live and what your days look like, you have the choice each day to depend on yourself, to live safely, and to try to control your life. Or you can live as you were created to live - as a temple of the Holy Spirit of God, as a person dependent on Him, desperate for God the Spirit to show up and make a difference. When you begin living a life characterized by walking with the Spirit, that is when people will begin to look not to you but to our Father in heaven and give Him the praise." (p. 156)
So there. I'm definitely still unpacking all this. I mean, bottom line, I'm still just a mom at home with 2 babies everyday. But the more I think and pray on this, I think there is so much more to LIFE than my perspective is able to allow me to grasp. However, I know that I am right where I need to be right now. I know that God has put certain people in my life that are needing Him, and therefore needing me in order to get them to Him. The verse Matthew 25:23 has been coming to mind a lot lately..."Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master's happiness." I might not be called to lead large groups of people (i.e. a youth group) right now, but I know that by making a difference NOW with the few that I have around me, God is being honored...but I'm almost scared to ask Him what more I/we can be doing.
Another thing learned from Chan's book: it is worthless to try to figure out what it might be/supposed to be like 5 years down the road, but I'm trusting Him to get me/us right to where we're needed most. And I'm so thankful for my church family, friends and family that are here to help shape and guide us on the journey. My prayer is that J and I are walking so closely with God that we will KNOW when we are being directed as He wills it.
And in separate news, Jack saw his swimsuit out and said, "Hey! That's Jack's swimmin' poot." I'm still debating whether or not to correct him...it's pretty stinkin' cute.