Post by Kendria Smith
I spent a Saturday evening organizing contents from an old suitcase I keep underneath my bed. It is more of a "junk drawer" than anything and houses most of the documents and trinkets I do not know what else to do with but do not have the heart to throw away. I came across a grocery bag filled with old photos from my heydays in college over a decade ago. There were tons of photos of myself in groups of familiar faces I had not spoken to in years. But the photos that impacted me the most were the ones that reflected the four years I spent in my campus youth group.
One by one, photos of youth retreats, worship nights, camp-outs on the quad, ice cream socials and talent shows littered my bedroom floor. These were some of my closest friends at that time and we were inseparable. The looks on our faces were young, bright and ambitious, and I remember feeling like nothing could phase us as we donned our youth group t-shirts and W.W.J.D. bracelets and passed out ministry tracts in the cafeteria of the student union.
Fast-forward 13 years later and although I still recognize that young, bold, carefree person I used to be, my testimony, as an adult, has turned into more of a timetable of activities I want to accomplish to feel successful and relevant. Most days, Christianity seems more about showing up at church once a week, than the pursuit of Christ at all costs.
So what does it cost to live out the calling of Christ?
The Right to be Comfortable
One thing I struggle with in regards to walking out my faith is that I do not want to actually struggle! As a gainfully employed, tax-paying adult in my mid-thirties I would like to believe I have paid my dues at this point and can enjoy the fruits of my labor. I am no longer that poor, simple college student surviving off of Easy Mac and Ramen Noodles. Yet, in Mark 10:21-22, when Jesus instructs the rich young ruler that in order to inherit eternal life he needed to sell all he possessed, give to the poor, and follow Him, the ruler “…was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.”
This parable illustrates that our calling may push us out of the comfort zone we create for ourselves. When there is an unexpected need to give up your time, money or other resources for the greater good, what is your response?
The Right to be Right
There are many instances in life where you can find yourself at the crossroads of pursuing your point of view or pursuing peace. It could be with that sibling who always seems to know how to push your buttons at family gatherings or the coworker who is always looking for an opportunity to upstage your in front of your boss. No matter what the situation, Matthew 5:9 reminds us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” As a Christian, we are called to live counter culturally. What decisions have you made recently to rise above when you really feel like digging in even deeper?
The Right to Know
Oh, how much easier life would seem if we only knew what, where, when, why and how! So much of life is walking into the unknown and having the faith to move forward. The very definition of faith, according to Hebrews 11:1, “…is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” This is a clear reminder that when we choose this walk, we must continue to rely on God as our source and believe that He has the best in store for our lives. What areas in your life have you struggled to step forward in due to fear or doubt?