I know, it’s been almost a month, but I’m finally getting around to writing about Passion 2012 in Atlanta. Not that it wasn’t amazing or exciting…I’ve just been busy!
A little over a year ago, my husband and I felt led to start working with the college ministry at our church. Most of the college students in the class were kids that had grown up here and either stayed here to go to college, or left but came back for breaks. Since neither of us grew up around here, we didn’t know the majority of them. The big trip to Passion 2011, an amazing college conference in Atlanta, was coming up and we thought that it would be a great opportunity to get on board. One of my sisters from Arizona was also signed up to go with us (no one she knew was going).
A couple of days before we left, however, Andy decided that, with work and all, he really couldn’t go. So, I went with out him and took my sister. It was an amazing four days, and learned a ton, but something was missing…Andy. Not only was I lonely without him, it was just plain hard to take back what I had learned and share it with him in a way that would have had the same meaning had he gone himself!
A wonderful year passed, in which the college ministry was growing and we were loving working with the kids. Passion 2012 came up and, this time, Andy got to go! So, at the beginning of January we loaded up three vans and headed east.
There are so many things I could share with you about our trip. If you’re not familiar with Passion, it doesn’t have an equal. It’s chock full of inspiring speakers, music, and encouragement to step up and make a difference in this world…despite only being a college student. Not that adults can’t get anything out of it too…it’s just geared for 18-25 year olds.
The overarching theme this year was “Do Something Now”…an aspect they’ve always had but that took center stage this year. Did you know that there are over 27 million slaves in the world today? Yes, 27 million! And guess what, before you dog on college students, they were able to raise almost 3 million dollars at Passion this year to free these slaves. 3 million dollars!!!
What hit me the most about Passion was not that, yeah, it’s awesome that all these college students got together to give money and praise Jesus, but the thought of what am I supposed to do about what I’m learning?
Most Christians in America live in a bubble. Somehow we think that if we’re going to church twice a week, paying tithe, and leading a Sunday school class that we’re somehow serving the Lord…somehow living how Jesus wants us to live. But is that what it’s all about?
Sure, it’s great to serve in the church and, yes, many of us work hard for our “easy” lives full of nice houses and clothes. But people are dying each moment and going to hell, and there are 27 million slaves in this world needing the hope of Jesus. So what are we going to do about it?
For Andy and I, we left Passion examining our lives and our goals. We felt like much of our own lives and what they about is a waste. We have so many opportunities around us to reach out and spread Christ’s name. And yet, do we? And, compared to so many in the world, we have been incredibly financially blessed. But do we covet things and call them “needs”, or do we use the money God has blessed us with for His kingdom?
Before Passion, I had been really wanting some new brown riding boots. I’d been looking everywhere for a good pair, and I’d been saving up my money. At Passion, it seemed like every girl around me was wearing brown riding boots. And yet, here I was, without them. But as Passion progressed, I suddenly realized how foolish my coveting of those boots was. I started thinking about how much the money I would spend on those boots could benefit someone in need…could help free someone from slavery…could help bring somebody to Christ. All of a sudden, those boots seemed very insignificant.
There’s nothing wrong with looking nice and getting new things. I, myself, am a firm believer in representing Christ by dressing nicely and with thought. But how many things do we really need? How much could we actually go without?
One of the speakers, Francis Chan, spoke about taking the Bible literally. One day he was reading the Word and stumbled upon the parable of the feast. He realized that that’s what God wants us to do…and so he did. He and his wife found poor, destitute people and invited them to an incredible feast. His wife took them shopping and bought them new clothes, and they were thoroughly pampered for the occasion. Everything was planned to a “t”…a dinner party nicer than many of us have come to. And what an incredible witness? Isn’t this how God wants us to live?
Dare we live boldly for Christ and reexamine our very lives and what they revolve around? All the answers are not found in the traditions of the church. They’re found solely in God’s Word.
Just a little food for thought.