I’m finding everything I’ll ever need
By giving up gaining everything
Falling for You for eternity
Right here at Your feet is where I want to be.
I am Yours.
So I have a lot of homework to do among other things that need to get done tonight, but I just can’t get tonight’s message off my mind. I’m sorry to all that were in the car with me on the way back, I know I wasn’t talkative, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what Clayton had said. Clayton King spoke a message based off his book “Dying to Live” and I almost want to spend the rest of the night reading it right now because it spoke to me so much.
He said that Jesus preached one of the greatest paradox’s in Mark 8, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Jesus is saying that we have do DIE to LIVE. How crazy and backwards is that? I’ve heard this verse and heard messages like this a lot growing up in church but it still hit me so hard tonight.
The only way we can find life, real life, a satisfying life, a joyful life, is by dying to ourselves.
The things in life that we think matter, the things we think we find happiness in, they are only fleeting. The only thing that really matters is living for God. If we truly believe that we are going to live in eternity with God in heaven, then why don’t we live it? Instead of trying to do things our way, to get things we like, to satisfy our little desires, why don’t we live for something bigger and greater then us that will far outlast our lives here?
I want to create art, send a message of hope out into the world, I want to inspire others. Most of all, I long to draw a pure reflection of what I’m living for and Who claims my life, my strength, and my all. – Adam Young
I know I quote Adam Young a lot but I absolutely love him. I love his songs, I love his heart, I love his passion, I love his writing. If I ever meet him I’m going to thank him for being such a tremendous inspiration in my life.
Our lives are so short compared to eternity and I want my life to be a part of something that will have an impact far beyond what I can see. I really do want to inspire others and have my life be a pure reflection of Who I’m living for.
I want to die to my desires and the things that I want that are worldly and not of God. There are things that God has placed on my heart to be passionate about. And there are desires He’s given me that I know are from Him. But the desires that are my own, the things that I want because I think they’ll bring me happiness and contentment…the things that I think will bring me satisfaction and recognition…those are the ones I need to die to.
I was really convicted by what He said about how it’s not just about the “epic moments” in life, like “literally dying” somewhere overseas preaching the gospel to a village in Africa, but it’s the daily things in life that you know you’re supposed to do, but honestly you think that dying in Africa would be easier then doing what you know you’re supposed to do here. That’s how I feel. If God called me to leave everything and live in Africa for the rest of my life, I’ll do it in a heartbeat. But tell me to go back to my hometown and live there the rest of my life… That’s tough. I want to travel and do spectacular, world changing things for God. I really have a hard time staying in one place and doing the ordinary things. And lately I’ve been super convicted about that.
It’s not some great change that will just happen over night. I know that. Every day I know that I’ll struggle with my desires because I’m only human. Every day I need to ask myself what Clayton said he felt God asking him, “Will you follow me if I’m all you’ve got?” I want to live my life daily as if Jesus really was my greatest joy in life. That my contentment and significance and worth comes only from Him. Because no person, no guy, no friend, no thing can ever give me contentment. As my favourite Convocation speaker Jamie George said “What would it be like if you lived today as if you were loved by God? Like totally be okay with just the fact that God, well, He loves you.” I want to be content being wholly God’s child and die to my desires so that in death I can truly find life.
Lord, You are more precious then silver
Lord, You are more costly then gold
lord, You are more beautiful then diamonds
And nothing I desire compares with You.
Just for a second, forget your weekend plans, forget what’s in the books, forget your date on Friday night, forget how crazy the world is and how you just want to be there already. Things can change in a split-second and sometimes you have no idea what you’ve got until it’s gone. Sometimes life is not about the destination, but about the journey designed to take you there. – Adam Young
That is so hard to do sometimes. Especially here at school. I’ve got a quiz today, a test tomorrow, a DB on Friday, a paper on Monday, 3 DB’s next week… Just to start. I’m also looking forward to hanging out and studying Hebrew on Wednesday and Thursday with some friends, chilling with my girls on Friday night, hiking with the Brothers on Saturday, going to church on Sunday, CFAW kids are coming next week, Switchfoot and The Almost will be here next Friday…
And then the plane lands and I’m out of there. Sometimes I’m walking away, glad to be back on the ground but wishing I would’ve found a deeper appreciation for the journey itself, rather than focusing only on the destination. – Adam Young
It’s sooo hard for me too because I LOVE looking forward to things. Sometimes I almost enjoy the ‘looking forward to’ part more then the actual event sometimes. One of my favourite quotes is from Anne of Green Gables where she says, ‘Looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them. You may not get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them… I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to be disappointed.’ I still totally think that’s true, that it would be worse to expect nothing then to be disappointed, but I’m starting to see that sometimes you have to appreciate the journey, not just rush to get to the destination.
As I’m writing this I’m realizing it sounds like I’m contradicting my last post about fixing my eyes on things unseen and in the future. But I think maybe that there has to be a balance. That you have to see the big picture and understand the difference between focusing on the temporal vs. the eternal but that we can’t rush life trying to get to the end.
The last thing I want to do is wish my life away, be it a device to eclipse exhaustion, fatigue, apathy or otherwise. These days are FAR too valuable and I cannot plan which one will be my last. With that outlook, each day, hour and minute is suddenly VERY precious. I must be thankful even for the dull moments because the reality is that I could pass into eternity tonight, next week, six months from now or in fifty years. I need to appreciate the time I’ve been given because that time is not something I can count on. It will elapse at some point and when I look back at the life I’ve just lived, what will I think of it? I don’t want to cross the finish line and feel the tiniest hint of disappointment.
In America we’re so rushed. We can’t wait for anything, everything is so fast paced. We don’t like to wait for anything, we want it all now. But every moment of every day is a precious gift from God, even the moments of waiting. I read this verse the other day, “If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3). Sometimes things seem really slow in coming. You can’t wait for the weekend because classes will be done, finding that special someone, moving out, getting married, finding the perfect job, retiring, etc. But God says, even if it feels like it’s slow to get here, just wait for it. It will come eventually, at just the right time.
That’s when I realize I’m tired of waiting. I’m so sick of wishing I was there already. I’d rather look around and not have to squint to see the beauty that literally lies everywhere.
Whether things are happy or life is hard, there is SUCH divine beauty all around, and I suppose in a manner of speaking, “the trick is to see it.”
A Switchfoot lyric appropriately comes to mind:
“This is your life, are you who you want to be?”
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
I love to read Adam Young’s blog (www.owlcityblog.com) and a post he wrote a few weeks ago has been on my mind since I read it, so I thought I’d share parts of what he said. In it he talked about some of the things that inspire him, and about how sometimes it’s not just books, or people, or music or anything like that that inspires us, but it’s seeing that which is unseen, or far off in the future, that inspires us to become a better person or to live for something greater then us.
It goes without saying that materialism is fleeting and will inevitably come and go but what if the things that inspire you actually have effects beyond the way you write if you’re an author, the way you strum if you’re a musician, the way you see the world through lenses if you’re a photographer, the way you paint the page if you’re an artist…
The sky really is the limit.
Life is such a beautiful gift and I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t got it figured out in the least. But the more days go by and the more I turn around and look back on them, the more I realize I have no interest in living for myself and that my focus is far better fixed on things unseen.
I love the idea that “I have no interest in living for myself and that my focus is far better fixed on things unseen.” It’s like what 2 Corinthians says, we’re to focus our attention on the unseen, because only what is unseen is eternal. I want to live my life like that. Focused not on living for myself but on living for the unseen. It’s not just a decision I can make once and be done, it’s something I have to decide to do daily. But I want to live like that.
I realize I’m being a bit ambiguous but it shouldn’t be all that hard to put together.
A familiar way to sum it up may be this:
I am not my own
For I have been made new
Please don’t let me go
I desperately need You
Life is in fact a tremendous journey and I believe everyone deserves the chance to start over.
That, dear friends, is unequivocally inspiring to me.
When did I arrive?
I don’t recall ever leaving Alaska.
Why do I hate the dark when I’m alone?
I was on my way to a brighter day
I’m still chasing around.
But somehow I believe that this is home.
It’s so good to be home.
I still can’t really believe that I’m here. I’ve been here for three weeks now and it still hasn’t really sunk in that I’m at school. It honestly doesn’t even feel like I went anywhere. I still feel like I’m “home.” Yeah, I miss my family and friends, and yes some days I wish that I was back with them, but more then that I wish they were here experiencing this with me. I wish I had words to describe the atmosphere here, it’s just something you have to experience for yourself, but let me try.
I go to Convo every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and hear speakers challenge us and great worship and see thousands and thousands of college students worshiping together and I can’t believe this is my life.
I stay up late into the night just sitting in the hall with the other girls talking about anything and everything and I can’t believe that we’ve only known each other 3 weeks.
I go to classes where we pray before every class and every subject whether it be Hebrew or Drawing, Theology or Psychology is taught from the perspective that it all of it is important to God and we learn both sides of the issues. You can be a teacher or a preacher, a mother or a worship leader but that all of us are called to use our passions and professions to be a light in the world.
I can be talking to someone about the most random thing and suddenly we’re discussing the Bible and God and different thoughts we have about Him and His call for our lives or how He’s speaking to us.
I love that we’re challenged to step out of our comfort zones and live life on the edge and not pampered and told we can’t do anything but are actually given high expectations and expected to live up to them.
I can go outside early in the morning when only a few people are awake and sit in the grass and read my Bible or walk around the grounds praying or sing along to the music coming from the stadium and no one cares because they’re all doing the same thing.
I am being prayed for every day by name and have an accountability partner who I can chat about anything and everything with and I wish that everyone in the world had that.
I love meeting new people in my classes. I love sitting next to someone new almost every day in my big classes and then getting to really know some kids in my smaller classes.
I love Brother/Sister car rides and turning up the music really loud and just having a blast riding around.
I love that everyone here is friendly, and that the guys are gentleman and walk you to classes or to your dorm and that they give up their seats for you or let you go first or holds doors for you.
I love that the girls are all encouraging and loving and friendly and are always around to talk to and to share clothes with and stories and giggle and be silly and joke with.
I love that I go to school at the world’s most exciting University where we spend our weekends at concerts or the movie theatre or playing games with the Brother Dorm and I forget that I’m actually at school and have homework to do, but somehow it’s okay, because who said school couldn’t be fun? <3
But somehow I believe that this is home.
It’s so good to be home.