Friday, May 24, 2013

Days of Future Present

Geez, I guess I lost track of time after finals and haven't written a post since then! My last semester was a bit of a beast, and I needed a week or two to not do anything. I hope to be a bit more on top of writing.

In my down time, I found myself thinking about the future. I tend to daydream about what I want to do with my life. I've been planning to go to Brigham Young University in the Fall of 2014, and have been researching different seminaries to attend afterwards. A few weeks ago, I was even looking at mission programs in certain countries. In the midst of this, I've been preparing something for the Monday night bible study called the "Elephant Plant", where we'll be learning how to plant a church!

When I found myself thinking about the future, there were certain character traits and habits that I saw in my future me. I would be much more humble, and generous with my money. I would be constantly telling people about Jesus, and intentionally making disciples. This future me was committed to constant prayer, well versed in the bible, and a passionate worshiper. This all sounds like some idealistic dream, and I really doubt that my future will look exactly like I imagine. Despite that, this future is unobtainable if I do not make efforts to obtain it. 

My younger brother plays an online game called League of Legends. The game is immensely popular as an e-sport, and provides opportunity for several players to make a living by competing in tournaments, much like regular sports. I asked my brother how someone could become a pro-gamer who made a living off of League of Legends.
"Well, they'd have to be willing give up everything else in life and do nothing but League [of Legends]" He replied.

This video about a professional gamer, Doublelift, illustrates how much some people give up to make a living playing a video game. Becoming a pro-gamer seems like a dream to most people, and is, until someone is willing to make the sacrifices in order to do it.

This idea of sacrifice reminds me of a story I once heard. There was a certain prospector, who was looking through some old geological surveys of a small Texan town. To his delight, he realized that there was oil beneath a particularly worthless looking stretch of land. He then sold his house, his cars, and anything else he could, just to buy and drill for oil in that field. Is this sounding familiar? This story is the same parable that Jesus told in Matthew 13:44. This is what the Christian life looks like; an individual giving up everything they have for someone greater. 

How does this all tie together? In order to be that servant leader that I want to be in the future, I need to serve now, where I'm at. In order to be a missionary to some foreign nation, I need to be a missionary in my own community now. In order to be a "prayer warrior", I need to sacrifice time in my schedule for prayer now. There is an inherent danger for Christians to daydream about what their lives could be, if they only stay in the daydream. My brother might play League of Legends a lot, but he only plays for 3 or 4 hours a day. Professionals may devote 12 to 14 hours a day to the game! The prospector sells everything he owes to buy that oil field. Likewise, the leader must be willing to go "all in", for the sake of something much greater.

It's important to note that though Christians do some of the work, ultimately Jesus is the one who will change them. For some reason, I think He changes and molds Christians to be like Him, as much as they let Him. This isn’t to say that Jesus’ power is limited, rather that He lets us choose to be a part of what He’s doing. I want my life to be positioned for Jesus so that I experience the fullness of the future God has for me. That is why I believe that those dreams I have for the future will require action in the present. I need to make room in my life. In regards to leadership, I need to make room to grow. In regards to my Christianity, I need to make room for Jesus to work. What is unobtainable in my own power is obtainable in Him.

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