What does it mean to be awakened? Not from a REM sleep, or a cat nap. But rather a spiritual, mental awakening. Some people would say that it means to exist, to live, on a higher plane of truth. I'd agree. But this is not an intellectual truth I am speaking of. Actually, it's a truth that confounds every bit of earthly knowledge that we can amass. It makes all human intellect seem pretty inconsequential. We all deserve to have those moments every once in a while. The awakening that I am referring to happened to me right along with 20,000 other people, inside of the Phillips Arena. It was, none other than, Passion 2010.
While Passion 2010 was a conference, it was apart of a much larger, global movement to ignite the hearts and lives of young people (18-25), believing, undoubtedly that we are the future of the planet, not by default, but by designation and design. Whose design and designation? (you might ask). God. He did something so amazing, so mind-blowing, so soul-stirring, so DIVINE that it has taken me a week to digest it, but more importantly to APPLY it, which thankfully crushed my attempts to write this entry with anything but sincerity and earnest reflection.
What I discovered about myself over the conference's 4-day span and I'm sure my fellow conference attendees will testify, is that, I, in all of my perfectionism and stifling legalism, was asleep. I was going through the motions of what I thought it was to be successful and to have a life that people would envy and emulate. I had no clue what it mean live. And just because I'd chosen the career of community organizing, and devoted my life to causes much greater didn't mean that I was any more humble or that God was any more pleased with me, or that I was any more alive than the Hedge fund manager or the poor employee chained to their cubicle. Why? Because we were created not to live lives as social climbers or mere do-gooders or star employees. But rather as PASSIONATE BEINGS, enraptured by the notion that God wants us to be apart of this story most commonly known as life, everyday of which he orchestrated PERFECTLY. All weekend, the conference organizer and guest speakers challenged us. To DIE to all the things that distract us from the real reason we are on earth. Because even if they spanned through your lifetime, they would still be temporal in God's eyes. Just like beauty, and swag, and money....just to name a few. And what, then, could be said about your life? We should aim to live lives that have as little to do with us as possible. And more to do with freeing people from their oppressed state and serving justice through our deeds. The urgency with which we live should reflect the desperate state of our world and not just our country. I attened a session on Worship and Social Justice and was heartborken over Uganda's child soldier problem, where 12 year olds were forced into prostitution and countless crimes were being perpetrated at the hands of children. I wondered, where was God? The truth is....anytime we ask God that, he asks us the same question....
What really matters then? Catching hold of God's glory and following him no matter where that takes you. It's the walk of faith. And He has intended us all to take that walk. But to say that it is a walk is to speak mildly of the the AMAZING thing that God wants to do inside of each and every person who is willing to give his/her life away. It's a thrilling chase. A bumpy road. One for which God equips and prepares us for everyday. But just who are we signing over the deed to our lives? A God who's glory, love, grace and mercy completely eclipse every great thing on earth, every best laid plan. So, I'm resolved. Because while your approval may last for a few moments, my parents approval may last me a little while, and the worlds approval will last until I screw up, I'd rather follow Christ. Isaiah 26:8 says it best: " "Yes Lord, walking in the way of Your Truth, we eagerly wait for you, for your name and your renown are the desire of our souls."
Perhaps you have you have your whole life figured out. Maybe you know where you'll be in 20 minutes, 20 months, or 20 years. I know you. I used to be you. Then I discovered who God was and it completely ruined me (in a good way). He wasn't some superhero in a book that had been translated 100 times and repeated over 1,000,000 times. We wasn't some super-brainy college professor. He wasn't some hippie magician who created the earth with an abra-cadabra. Or a big bang. He's more than you can ever know. More than your brain can comprehend. In fact, such knowledge would make you tremble. Literally. And if, for some reason, whether it's because of your own intellect, or because you have been "burned" by a church, or because life happens and you walked away from God, or because you know "of" him and really don't know him like that; I'd like to encourage you. Challenge, even. To find out who GOD really is. Not who you think he is. I assure you that the revelation will awaken you soul to something greater. Just promise me that you won't hit snooze.
P.S- This blog entry, despite it's length, doesn't fully capture the Passion experience. No words really could. My sincere prayer is my life transformation says more than my words ever could.