our youth group meets on weds and thurs for small groups for jr/ sr high, in a series i call roots. i.e. growing deeper in the faith so we can grow out… i know i’m an advertising major… nuff said. anyways, i thought tonite was just an awesome blessing from God. in our groups i’ve tried to create a discussion atmosphere, and currently we’re talking about living a life of praise. one of the things we talked about was acknowledging God’s presence throughout our day. anyways, i always have a bunch of questions that i ask the kids to get discussion started and then pray that we’ll be able to tie their comments in to the point i had originally intended. fortunately God intervenes and takes our discussion where He wants it to go instead of my direction. sweet. i just felt like the questions tonite really served a good purpose. here they are with my personal responses… i’ll tie it together later.
what is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you?
i was on a mission trip to belize, and on our day off we took a speedboat to an island about 45 minutes off-shore. the island was the size of a couple football fields, they had kayaks there for rent, so i paddled out to this other island a few hundred yards off and decided to play gilligan and claim the smaller (5 feet wide, one tree sticking up) island for myself. sounds like a good idea… until i get out of the kayak and sink to my chest in silt, which is a mix of sand and bird droppings. so i start puking from the smell to the point of dry heaves, and use what strength i have left to pull myself onto this narrow tree to rest. i barely catch my breath when the wake from a boat causes a ripple to pull my kayak farther away from the island. so i have to jump off of the tree and try to get back to my kayak. i land up to my shoulders in silt this time, with my arms over the kayak, dry heaving once again and manage to get back in the kayak and push through the sludge out to the water again. i rolled the kayak a few times to get rid of the silt and paddled back to the island just in time to catch the boat back to shore. i say this is the craziest thing that has ever happened to me because i was stuck in the middle of the atlantic, with no english speaking persons around, up to my neck in what is essentially quicksand.
who is the most interesting person you have ever been around?
chrs billings by far. i’ve said it before and i’ll keep saying it, chrs made any typical day an interesting day, and not by doing anything extraordinary, just doing the unusual, and encouraging others to join in.
what is the most fun you have ever had?
prob in college when we had our final el patioso party, and there were like 75 people jam packed on our front porch for no good reason, except to celebrate the conclusion of a great year.
when have you felt on top of the world?
i’m gonna cheat here, because i’ve got a few.
when i read a letter my dad wrote me when i was nine saying how proud he was to be my father
when i won gamma rho beau of the year
at graduation when i gave one of the professors a hug after i got my diploma, and i could see all of my family in the stands, and hear a bunch of people cheering for me from the crowd
my going away party from park plaza
when i got my job offer
when have you been your lowest?
a few months after i moved to seattle
after spending two nights in a row having the best conversation i’ve ever had, talking to a certain female till five in the morning, having her dump me the following week
when i thought i had failed out of school
when i didn’t get a job offer that i really wanted
when have you felt the most loved?
whenever i go home
when i get a hug from my sister
fall retreat at park plaza
the hot seat at camp palomar
when have you felt the closest to God?
at the rock in la jolla staring at the ocean when it really hit that God exists, and i decided to get baptized
after baptizing a friend at camp, we hugged while everyone around us sang
when i found out my dad had a seizure and i had to fly home to see him
soooo many times while singing… most notably the last chapel i went to at oc
the point of all of these questions is to help us realize that God isn’t in and out of our lives, he’s always there, wether you’re stuck on an island in the atlantic, spotlighting with some crazy friends, crying yourself to sleep, getting an award or looking at an old photograph. if we’re going to live a life of praise it’s is key to recognize that God is working in our lives if we acknowledge it or not. not only is giving God praise for all of these moments a way to build up God, but it is a way to help others come closer to Him. when we grow in the habit of sharing how God is working in our lives i think others will be drawn to the joy that we have in our lives. at the very least, it’s always a good idea to give God praise where praise is due.
dear God, thank you for your presence in my life. i don’t always recognize that you’re there, but i know deep down that you have blessed me with so many people, thoughts, and memories that prove your love for me over and over again. even though you’ve seen all that i’ve done, you still offer me grace and so many second chances… second chances that i could never earn or deserve. i pray that i may share my experiences with others in a way that glorifies you, and draws them nearer.
one love, one heart.