This chapter, the second-to-last in "Crazy Love," was just a collection of stories of people who live their lives in a way that seems crazy and radical to this world. They are people who have come from all sorts of backgrounds--from Christian households to prostitutes and drug addicts--but have all found Jesus at some point in their lives and have decided to run toward Him with everything that they possibly can. Many of these people have literally forsaken their own personal comfort and health so that they can use that money to help others. Some just pursue Christ in the most loving ways they can in their current situation.
This chapter was included for the sole purpose of encouragement and conviction: if these people, many still living today, can live a life completely dedicated to Jesus, why aren't you? It is not a matter of selling everything you own to go live in the jungle, but rather it is a matter of denying yourself and picking up your cross to follow Jesus daily. These people were called to do radical things in their own way, but that does not mean that you have been called to do these same things. Like I keep saying, maybe all God has planned for you is to simply love unconditionally those you come into contact with every day, whether you see them every day or it is just a chance meeting. Love everyone, seeking to share just a glimpse of Jesus' love through your actions, and everything else will fall into place.
Now I'll be honest, after reading these stories I thought to myself that it really would be cool to just pack up and move somewhere, living out of a backpack with minimal comfort, so that I could help others and share Jesus' love with a people who may not know Him. But I also know that these feelings are selfish, that when I entertained these thoughts it was for my own experience, not with a heart solely to love. I also remembered that God has already showed me part of His plan for me, given me some kind of direction so I can prepare. He has called me to be a pastor, and while I have no idea what that means for me, I am going for it. I don't know where I will preach, I don't know when I will start preaching. But I do know, beyond any doubt, that this is my calling. This is why I started this blog, so that I can practice organizing my thoughts about God, so that I am diving deeper into the Scriptures than I would otherwise. God has graciously provided me with the gift of teaching, and of writing, of speaking, of encouraging, and with this blog, so that I can prepare for it now.
But I also know that I have not been called to seminary; I don't know why but I just do not currently have that call in me, which means that God has much planned for me right where I am, studying chemical engineering at Texas A&M. I know that He will provide for me, by helping me get the grades I need, by helping me get the loans I need to attend. I also know that if something happens, if I cant get financing, if I don't make the grades required to transfer into the college of engineering, that it is all just a part of God's plan. If what I see as my path falls through, then I know that it is just revealing God's plan buried underneath it all, and so I do not worry about these things. I do all that I can, studying hard, both in classes and in the Word, so that I can see God moving through me in my everyday life.
Already I have seen ways in which God is using me at A&M, and I am still quite young in my faith. This last year I was there to encourage my lab partner and friend, helping him to know what it looks like to love God, to know that the Church should not feel like a place of obligation to attend, but rather be a place where you rejoice in being a part of something. While I did not do nearly as much as I could have, or should have, I was still able to see the hunger in him grow and be filled as he started going to church and small groups, as well as Breakaway, our incredible weekly campus-wide bible study. And God has also blessed me with the opportunity to be a camp counselor as Ozark, where I saw much more growth and understanding than I was expecting going into it. And he has also given me an amazing Lifegroup and Impact family, when whom I can just be real with, with whom I freely encourage and find encouragement.
And I know that God has incredible things planned this next year too, starting with Impact Retreat. I just cant wait to see how God will use me as a counselor with that, as well as the rest of the counselors. And with one of my best friends leading my Lifegroup, I am just super excited to see where the Lord is going to take us all this next year.