Into the Wild

There comes a time when we each leave the safety of our homes to chase after the calling of God.  We leave behind friends and families, hopes and dreams.  Some we still hold onto, while others we let go of and allow to drift away so that they do not hold us back from the potential of God’s plan.  We embark on a journey into the unknown, into this wild place called life. 

I believe that there are very few people who actually follow God into the wild.  To many of us cling to what is safe.  To what is comfortable.  To what we are used to.  And because of it, we miss the great things that God is trying to reveal.  He will still use us, lead us and guide us, but we are limiting the potential that he has for our lives. 

The calling of God is dangerous.  He calls us to live on the edge.  He calls us to fear, but to find comfort in him.  One of the young men that I served with at Young Life’s Saranac Village for two summers once told me that “Courage is seeing how close you can get to God, before you turn and run away.” 

Living life with and for God is not easy, but it is the most satisfying thing you can ever do.  As I have begun to serve in AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) out in Denver, I have been able to see some pretty amazing sights, landscapes and sights that compare to those I have witnessed while in Uganda and Togo, Spain and Honduras. 

If we do not let go of everything that ties us to our past (everything that is ‘safe’) then we will never be able to see and experience all that God has to offer.  Yes, it is difficult and, at times, scary, but we do not see everything as God has planned before it happens. 

I took a risk when I traveled to Uganda with 11 college age students who I barely knew.  People told me that it wasn’t safe, and at times I did feel the darkness of the land and I did feel the cold grasp of Malaria.  I did fear.  But if I hadn’t taken that risk, I wouldn’t have seen the sun piercing through the darkened sky each morning, nor would I have experienced the beauty of life and the pain of death (and at the same time, the beauty of death and the pain of life). 

I took a risk putting my trust into God’s hands.  And look at where he has led me.  It wasn’t always safe, but I was never alone. 

Tomorrow, the 28 teams that make up the Southwest Region of AmeriCorps NCCC head out into the wild.  They face the unknown, the worst case scenarios, and the knowledge that they can make a difference. 

God allows us to travel together.  To go in groups.  Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs.  He will never send us out alone. 

I travel down to Houston, Texas with an amazing group of individuals, from across the nation.  Though we know each other loosely, we have already begun be become a family.  We support one another, lead and follow, respect and honor one another because we need one another.  We not only serve wherever we are on spike (project) but we serve one another, building each other up so that the wild is not as scary of a place as it seems. 

To begin the journey, we all must let go.  It may be leaving family for the first time.  It may be going somewhere where we have never gone before.  Letting friends fade because they have tied us down with our own doubts.  Releasing your fears.  Taking hold of a hand that will not only guide and lead you, but love you as well. 

God wants what is best for us.  He wants to show us the love that he has for each one of us.  At time it will be frightening.  You will fear.  You will hurt.  But in the end, the beauty will be worth it.  God is worth it. 

Will you take the first steps?

God Bless and PEACE

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