What if there was one thing that you were supposed to understand above all else and if you got that one thing right then all other aspects of life would simply fall into place? For several years now I have been trying to figure out what that one thing is and I have a feeling I am not the only one. My thought was, if there is one thing I am supposed to do then I will do it and that will be all I need. But what I found was that I did not need another thing to do, rather I needed to understand who I was supposed to be. This was a hard transition and one that is still in the works, but I would like to share a little bit of that journey with you. If you understand who you are supposed to be then your life will radically change, of that I am quite certain.
I was challenged with this idea several years ago by a pastor in Atlanta. He was preaching around New Years and talking about how everyone always sets out to make New Year’s Resolutions on what they want to do for that year, but rarely do people just sit down and think about who they want to be. The point he was making was that when people become really successful at doing something without being someone they end up sacrificing their character in the name of success.
So I set out to figure out who I am supposed to be and I did what I felt like I should do as a responsible Bible College student: I searched through Scripture. There were two sections of scripture that really shaped who I became over that next year or so: Philippians 2 and John 13. Philippians talks about how in our relationships with others we must have the same attitude as Christ who humbled himself and became a servant to all. Then John 13 is a picture of just that. It is where Jesus understands that he has all this authority given to him by the Father and his response to knowing this is that sheds his outer clothing and gets on his knees and washes the feet of everyone in the room, including the guy who he knew was going to betray him. So, I decided that the person I was going to be was a servant, because we are called to imitate Jesus and Jesus was a servant.
Something about this was difficult for me, but I continued to do it, not entirely sure what I was doing other than showing love to people in the way Jesus showed love to people. But I felt like something was missing or that there was more to it. So I began to study more and learn about different learning styles, study approaches, and the importance of growing in knowledge. The thinking there was that God created the world and everything in it, so if I learn more about the world then I will in turn learn more about the one who created the world. So I set out on a quest (of sorts) for knowledge. And I greatly enjoyed this. I told my friends on multiple occasions that I have such a great job, because I get to sit in an office and learn constantly. One of the most exciting days in my first summer at CrossView was when my friend Kevan taught me about the “memory palace,” this was a concept that allowed me to be able to remember large lists of things and blow the minds of many. It was a very fun time and I learned a lot in this stage… But this only carried me so far. There is more to life than being a good student.
Just to be clear, I am not saying in that being a servant is not something I am willing to be and I am not saying that being a student is not something I am willing to be. Nor am I saying that it is something that we should all give up. All I am saying is that it is so vitally important to get the main thing correct and despite what I have been taught in various settings I have come to a place where I don’t believe that the most important thing is to serve nor is it to study hard, though these things are typically elevated to such a status. I am saying that there is something more important than both of these things along with others that have been elevated to such a place of radical importance. But for the sake of time, because I believe the most important thing deserves a little more than a paragraph, I will save that for another post. So please hear me out in my next post before you pick up your stones or deem me a heretic.