As I get closer to our leave in two weeks I need to spend some time in prayer reflecting on the year. Where God has brought me from quitting my job in January to Spain, England, Madagascar, Nepal, India, SRI LANKA, Malaysia, and South Korea and over a dozen cities around the world. In just two weeks I’ll be back home to where I started almost 8 months ago. God has been changing me in lots of good ways, but he has also helped me realize my weaknesses, my faults, and where I must – If I am to honor him – grow up! 🙂 ha, sounds intense but bear with me.
My dad has said to me, “If you spend your days seeking the truth, the answer to life in truth, you will find yourself in nowhere else but the arms of God. He is the Savior.” Well, I want the truth… and I’m pretty sure that is in God’s arms. On this kingdom journey I’ve found how broken I am, how much my perceived comforts in life: financially, good education, being athletic, people thinking I’m good looking, talented friends, and a nice resume are things that have in turn led me away from the truth. They’ve been a distraction disguised as a blessing and I’ve been fighting it everyday.
I’ve had a lot of success for someone who has just turned 25. Pretty much both of my childhood dreams have already come true. In college my dream was to design a track spike. I got to do this at New Balance. During high school I read through every National Geographic magazine. I would look at the pictures of these explorers who would set up camp in the middle of a rainforest with all their science equipment, machete’s in hand, and notebooks full of sketches from the new animals and plants they discovered. I even applied to get one of those certifications that said I was an honorary member of the National Geographic society – it still sits in my room today but pretty much means nothing. Well, this year I was given that dream. I went to Madagascar on a grant from National Geographic to work with a team researchers, pathologists, botanists, illustrators, and field guides. But even in those things I found myself restless and incomplete… It’s not that I wasn’t doing enough work, or achieving enough… It was that I was trying to “achieve enough.” Do you see the distinction?
I had always found acceptance by others, by what I could achieve and I’ve been a slave to that. This is what it’s called to be an orphan. To be lost, no father.
The truth is.. Well, the absolute truth is that no one thing can fill your cup like Jesus. He is the King and I can’t deny it. He’s my Father and I am his Son. This father loves us no matter what we do. He loves us no less or no more and his hands are always open to us.
Even as I realize this truth it has not kept me from stumbling. Each day I’m finding myself waking up to a battle. And for those who know scripture, who have the Spirit know that it’s a holy battle. It’s a battle to separate my desires to achieve from my desires to know the truth. They often times collide together. When this happens I find myself trying to dig out God’s truth amongst fools gold.
The kingdom journey I’ve taken this year showed me the truth I’ve always heard spoken.. That Jesus Christ is everything and he is here, right now! He’s the reason we are here, that we get blessings and talents. But he didn’t give us these blessings and talents so that we could build up fame for ourselves, impress our parents or pastor. He gave us talents so that we could use them to build Him up. To engineer a big fat door for other to walk through and experience the fullness that is in Jesus Christ.
I’m happy to be a cog in God’s Kingdom and I’m happy to share this with you.
I’m making a promise to God today. That in all that I do, for the rest of time, I will give him everything I got. I will maximize the gifts and talents he has given me. And I’m not doing it to fulfill me, or to fill the expectations of others. I say, if God asks you to build a business.. Well, you build it. If God asks you to tear down a mountain… whether you have a pickaxe or a Transoil petrolium drill.. you tear it down.
God doesn’t ask us not to live out our dreams or do what we love. He just asks that we look to him, serve him, love him, and love others in the process.
Like my father told me,“If you are seeking the truth, you will find yourself in the hands of God.”
Go seek the truth.
“It’s a more certain proposition to follow The Lord, not knowing where you’re going, than to think you know where you’re going and you’re not following the Lord.”
New International Version (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Justin and Justin at, Gyeongbokgung palace (cover photo)