Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
This is how my son began his challenge to the congregation during Youth Sunday last week at church. I was floored. Aren't rising seniors usually just concerned with breezing through their classes and getting out of school as soon as possible? That's what I was thinking as I went into my senior year 25 years ago.
"Starting tomorrow, I have 180 days left to make an impression on the students and teachers at my high school. Whether that impression is good or bad, depends on whether or not I allow God to work through me. If dodgeball, Philadelphia sports and the violin are the only things that people remember about me in 20 years, then I have officially wasted my four years in high school and I ultimately have made no lasting impression....
While our youth group missions team was in Puerto Rico, we were challenged to 'get weird' in front of our peers. Getting weird looked different every time. Things as big as getting up and sharing a testimony to the rest of the team, praying for someone we just felt called to pray for, or things as small as dancing outrageously to music or just yelling as loud as we could all qualififed as getting weird, as long as we were out of our comfort zone.
Now I understand 'getting weird' to the extent we had in Puerto Rico might not be completely socially acceptable here...
But what if I acted differently? What if students at area school districts started to notice their friends behave in a whole new way? In a society that teaches us to conform, it is often difficult to step out in faith and just trust that God has our best interests in mind. But what if we tried?
Matthew 5: 14 - 16 says, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden...In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven." Often we gloss over the 'cannot' in verse 14 or we choose to ignore it completely. But if we truly are following God's calling on our lives we CANNOT be hidden. People will see the change in us if we allow ourselves to 'get weird' and step out in faith...
We live in a dark world; there is no arguing with that. In dark places, light cannot be ignored. So what dark place can you make an impact in?... And adults, you thought for a minute I was letting you off the hook. God has put you and all of us in our specific areas of influence that we can have the most impact in. And if we let God's light shine through us, we cannot be ignored. We can bring revival to areas that are spiritually dead.
When we put ourselves out on a limb, people will notice, and change will happen. Our church and youth group has hoped for a revival for years, but the most common form of a 'revival' does not happen in a large group. Often, it happens person to person, friend to friend.
So the final challenge? Start an inner revival in yourself. Get your heart right with God, and when you do, others will notice something different about you that CANNOT be ignored. Stepping out on a limb may be difficult, but the eternal outcomes far outweigh the temporary discomfort. In my last year in high school, I want people to notice a change in me, and then want that change for themselves. That is a legacy worth leaving."
On Sunday after church, our family had a commissioning service for each child for this school year. Our seven year old asked a very good question, "What does commissioning mean?" We explained it as getting your orders. So in a literal sense, we were sending each child into this school year with God's orders to "get weird," to go out on a limb, to leave a legacy, to start revival one person at a time, and to make a lasting difference. It was a special time of prayer as each of us prayed over the others, some going into the public high school, others being homeschooled or cyber schooled but charged to make a difference in soccer or gymnastics or wherever they go.
And Andrew's morning challenge couldn't have been a better charge to all of us in our own sphere of influence. I may have wasted my high school years which can't be reclaimed, but there's always this moment, "for such a time as this."