I’m sitting in my office, on a blustery Friday morning, watching the freshmen pile into College Church for one of the convocations for Freshman Connections. They are literally coming from all over our campus, headed to the same place. This scene happens around here all the time — students scattering all over our campus, going to class, eating, napping, playing, practicing and yes, even studying. The campus buzzes with life.
As I’m watching 700 people moving to the same place, my mind has wandered to the events of this week. I’ve found myself wondering, How many of us will leave this place, scattering all over the world in short-term missions trips? We’ve been asking and wondering about the ways that God might be asking us to give our lives away. Some have made light of the fact that when using that phrase, calling ourselves to short-term missions isn’t really equal to “giving your life away,” is it? That’s a great question.
I listened to Wayne share in a class yesterday about discerning the will of God. How do we know what God is asking us to do? For a man who has spent 40+ years of his life ministering and raising support for the children of Calcutta, has anyone besides me wondered how he got there? Well, he answered that question very directly yesterday, and what he said might surprise some of you. He looked at the students in that class, and he said, “You get to where God wants you to be, by doing what you’re supposed to do today, as best as you can do it.” Don’t worry about tomorrow, just look at where you are currently, and live for God today, right where you are.
That answer reminded another question asked of Tony Campolo, a speaker we had last fall, who, like Wayne, is a great storyteller. At one point during a Q & A, a student stood up and said he felt like he was wasting his time and money here. He just wanted to go now, doing the things Tony and Wayne talked with us about. Tony looked at him and begged him not to. He told him he is privileged to be at a university like ours, and that he should get everything out of the opportunity as he can. Study, ask questions, drive your professor nuts. He then reassured us all by saying that what you are doing today is never wasted; it is always preparing you for what’s next.
So, how do you give your life away? We can say it doesn’t happen by going somewhere on spring break or over the summer. But if I’m hearing them right, and understand the words of Jesus, the One who shapes how we walk, we give our life away one day at a time. It’s about today, not tomorrow. It’s about doing it here, not over there. So, what are we waiting for?
Text for the week: Matthew 6:25-35