editor’s note: this was originally written on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 3:42pm.
i actually wrote this note last night, but my internet wasnt letting me post it until today… so here it is!
wowsers. before i get on to the main points of this note i need to say what JUST happened to me. every tuesday night, after small groups bible study, we play Midnight Wiffle Ball! (its really at 10 but we call it midnight anyways.) i was feeling a bit worn out, i’d been in a weird mood the past two weeks, and after the bible study i just wanted to go back to my dorm and relax. I cant honestly tell you why i went to wiffle ball tonight, after being heckeled into the ground the previous game for my bad pitching performance i felt very apprehensive about going again, but i did. as the game is just starting i notice in the corner of my eye the sillouette of a guy sitting on a bench, under a low hanging tree, watching us. Being the fairly odd person that i am, i yelled over, “WANNA PLAY WIFFLE BALL?” the young man was hesitant at first, but then he came over. The first thing he asked me was what group this was. i told him this is intervarsity and we started talking about it. I told him my story about how i didnt know anyone in chico before coming up and about how scared and nervous i was about moving away into an unknown place. i continued to tell him the bible verse that popped into my mind one night as i was thinking about all the ways Chico was going to be terrible and about how i wasnt going to have any friends:
Philippians 4:6-7 (New International Version)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
and about how after that verse came to me i decided to hop onto google and type in the search bar: “christian chico.” the website at the top of the list being the intervarsity page for chico. i told him about how the people i had met though IV were so welcoming, so friendly, and just so genuine. almost awestruck, the guy smiles and tells me about how he was talking to a guy from his church just that evening and that guy had told him the exact same verse! (i was already getting pumped) he then tells me thats he’s a freshman and has been looking for a christian group to get plugged into! (yesssssss!) THEN, he tells me this was the first night where he actually asked GOD to bring a good christian fellowship group to him! (WHOAAAAAAAAAAA) that totally blew me away. he told me that this was a total answer to his prayers… wow. God is so incredible, and He works in so many crazy ways. :)
as amazing as this has been, its just been one instance where i see God working in my life. honestly, i cant even type out all the ways God’s been molding me, training me, and putting me in places to do His work. Looking back on my life (as short as its been) its so clear to me, all the ways God’s worked in my life. everything from the sports i played, to the upbringing i had as a child, to the christian group im with now, i couldnt have planned it any better. a verse we discussed a couple weeks ago at the IV fall retreat was:
Mark 4:26-29 (New International Version)
The Parable of the Growing Seed
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
this verse stuck to me more than any other verse we discussed during the retreat. what i find interesting is that with a parable, different meanings can be found individual to that person and what theyre going though. for me, the process at which the grain grows was mind boggling! looking back on my life, everything that i experienced was necessary for me, and put in place specifically by God FOR ME. going to a christian middle school and high school, along with how i was raised gave me a solid understanding of the bible, and a strong biblical foundation. and i think thats necessary for a good christian faith, to have a strong base of the core values. you can discuss deep theology and philosophy but if you dont have those core values of the bible, those deep topics dont mean much. just like how in the parable, the head of the grain cant grow before the stalk. coming into chico and IV, im really learning what it means to “live out your faith.” i can say that quite honestly the concept of living out my faith was lost in high school. but in coming to chico, and really making the effort to spread the kingdom has made me grow in so many ways. Its been such a radical change in my life, and the amazing thing is… IM STILL LEARNING. literally EVERY SINGLE DAY. Im learning more and more about what it really means to live a Christ-like life, and to really be a man after God’s own heart. But you see, i NEEDED that strong base i received in high school in order to be where i am now. It was all a process started by God. It was all God’s big plan. I have no doubt that God has BIG plans for me. Its a wild ride. :)
ps. just tid-bits of what ive been really chewing on in relation to living out your faith:
"in order to walk on water, you need to get out of the boat."
and the idea that it wasn’t Jesus who fed the 5000, it was the disciples. yes, it was Jesus who gave the disciples the means to feed the 5000, but it was the disciples who did the feeding… think about it. :)
pps. hopefully this all makes sense. if not… i’d be super down to talk about any of this anytime. :)