Be The Change You Wish To See In The World.
A year ago this past week I experienced a life changing trip to Baja California Mexico. Within the week my heart for God grew, as well as my heart for serving others. Our youth group of about fifteen traveled down on one bus, took three planes, and then two vans into the heart of Ensenada to work with Genesis Diez on their Ranch with an all girls orphanage (twenty-one girls ranging from ages six to eighteen). Who ever knew that twenty orphans and one week could truly change our simple lives.
We attempted to prepare ourselves before departing and even during the early days of our trip, but nothing could have prepared our hearts for what we experienced. With a million mixed emotions on the trip down, the moment we met our Niña’s, was like no other. No words could truly explain the experience. Half the time we were unable to understand them and vice-verse, and this troubled us. We feared that due to this barrier we would not be able to carry out what we came for. Then we remember the still small voice, urging us, encouraging us, strengthening us. We were there for a purpose, whether we saw it actually happening or not. We had to do what we were brought there to do, and trust Him to do the rest. Being able to transform the life of a child, even with so many barriers, truly does change your heart.
Exactly 365 days after this trip started I was preparing for yet another trip. Only this time not to Mexico, but to Gatlinburg, Tennessee; and not for a mission trip, but instead a harmless vacation with friends.
Last year I climbed mountains, swam in the ocean,
watched the sunrise over the mountains, counted the stars,
and played ‘Tiburon’ with our young Niñas.
This past week I white-water rafted,
zip-lined, golfed down a mountain,
visited an aquarium with exotic aquatic animals,
and fed a wild bear.
Yet despite the difference in scenery, I must say the first was the best of the two.
Last year I slept on an air mattress, on solid ground in a tarp tent;
while it got down to freezing degrees at night.
The showers were thirty degrees and we only got one every other day;
not a single day went by that we weren’t covered in dirt, sweat, and paint.
This past week I got my own room and bathroom,
an amazing mountain view, and the luxury of comfort
and endless fun with friends.
Yet what was the greater experience? I must say, yet again, the first.
When I reflect back on the week in Mexico, and this past week, I can’t help but question what I really experienced in the mountain range of Ensenada, what I learned from what I experienced, and how I lived my life for the next 359 days after returning home. Was my life really all that changed? Or was I simply on a Jesus high at the time?
Was I more excited for traveling to the mountains, this year? Forgetting about where I was only a short year before? How can I say my life was changed from my week in Mexico, if only 365 days later I’m moving on and forgetting? Memories slipping, images disappearing, hearts changing. What does it all mean? What am I to think about this ‘change’ I experienced?
I think we all go through this at least once in our lives, if not (many) more. We experience something so life-changing, thinking this is the time our lives will really change, and then it seems to die down as the days, weeks, months, and years go by.
However, I have challenged myself to not let the fire die. To allow the life changing days of yesterday really change me; to really reflect the way I live.
I wrote a post a couple of months back about my mission trip to South Dakota, in the Indian Reservations, working with under-privileged children and poverty-stricken families (post here). Did this trip really change me, as much as I like to say? The things I experienced, the people I met, the poverty I saw, and all the small memories still burn in my mind and throb in my heart. Despite this fact, how much do they really change me? How much of that fire still burns strong in my heart enough to truly be a change to others?
Considering these troubling questions, I have challenged myself to really let these moments transfer from my heart to my life, and my life to my actions. Not just in my mind, but in my life. I want others to see what I have seen, and feel what I have felt. Don’t you?
Just think, you change one life… they go on to change another life… then another, and another. The cycle is forever long. Allow your experiences to change others! Allow your changed heart to change the hearts of others! Be the change, when you see the change!
I challenge you, BE THAT CHANGE! Let the light that shed into your heart, shine into the hearts of those that you meet. Whether a simple night at a convention, a heart warming speaker, a mission trip, or a true life-giving experience… let it be the change; because there is no change if you do not allow it and if you do not spread it.
Even if you’re fearful, a little unsure, or even ashamed.. let go of those burdens, and trust the Lord. He is good, He is so good. Remember, ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done’, bring the kingdom of the Lord here to earth. be a part of that change. No fear in life, no doubt in love, beat for His love, and live so.
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.