Letter #673: Reckless Surrender

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Dear conferences,

I’ve had the chance to attend many of you. Passion. Catalyst. Designed for Life in Springfield just last weekend.

I enjoy you, especially in this season of life where my job is filled with outpouring, organizing and making decisions. It’s refreshing every once in awhile to just sit back, listen, be still and be taught.

While I thoroughly enjoy my time at you and actually think I’m a fan of you, I also find myself consistently arriving at the same thoughts.

“What happens when this is over?”

“What do the thousands of lives present here look like at home, school and work?”

“What would our world look like if just 10% left here truly sold out?”

I find myself stepping back in the middle of the worship set, scanning the room, three things going through my mind. First, emotions of thankfulness, humility, reverence and excitement of being part of something bigger than myself. Second, I quickly find myself caught up in the moment. Lastly, I shut off the emotion and begin thinking about what happens when you’re over. I begin to wonder what Monday morning looks like.

Call me the cynic, but this is where my mind goes. You see, it’s easy to sing at the top of your lungs, recklessly abandoned, when there are thousands surrounding you and emotion is at its peak. And we live in an emotion driven society.

But what happens when emotions change? When you’re alone, walking through the hard of life?

I fear we show up at you, laugh at satirical comedians, sing with trendy musicians, hear some neat ways to impact the world and maybe even give some money, and listen to some exciting teaching, then leave with intentions we never follow through with.

I fear we sing lyrics of reckless abandon without living lives of reckless surrender.

I attended one of you this weekend. My heart was stirred and truth was communicated. I’m very thankful for what happened in my own world. But I can’t shake the moments I was able to step back and take in the room as a whole, the moments I prayed for complete surrender for those in attendance.

I can’t help but continue to pray for complete surrender to the Lord rather than for simple attendance of an event.

But it’s not my job to worry about everyone else. I’ll continue to pray for those present. For the daily tasks to be viewed with purpose, for difference makers to be raised up because of truth that resonated.

I can’t worry about or control the thousands, but I can choose for myself.

Reckless surrender. May I be so consumed with truth that my life overflows to the place where the only thing that makes sense is complete surrender to the Lord. Reckless abandon is not what I want my life to be defined by. My actions and ultimately my life will align with the words I say and sing.

While my mind often wonders about everybody else in the room, I start with me. I take responsibility for my actions. My life. My sphere of influence.

Praying for complete surrender in lives rather than just event attendance,

Conference Appreciator

Letter #368: ‘Be Present’

Dear life,

Why is it so easy to just live you rather than to take time to truly embrace you? We have a fabulous meal and simply expect it. We have a job that enables us to afford you and assume it’s normal. We have phenomenal people we get to walk through you with and take them for granted. We hear a great speech or sermon and leave unchanged.

Why? Why do I simply live you rather than stopping, being thankful and letting the Lord teach and change me? I don’t know if I know the answer to this. Laziness? Busyness? Apathy? All of the above?

Regardless of the answer, I am committed to being present and fully embracing every moment of you. I’m sick of coasting. I want to be fully engaged. Fully present. I want your full experience. There are three things in life I try to live by: 1) Be faithful in the little things. 2) Balance: it’s the key to life. 3) Wherever I am, be all there. The theme at Catalyst was ‘Be Present.’ This ties directly into my third principle I’ve been striving to obtain the past few years. Catalyst’s ‘Be Present’ was simply a reminder. I’m sick of settling. Sick of missing what’s right before me.

Thus, I am committed to being present and embracing you rather than just getting by. Wherever I am, be all there has been complemented with ‘Be Present.’ Don’t let me forget this. Now I’m fighting my flesh to not let Catalyst just have been a great event. I’m fighting to let the Lord teach me through my experience there. Lord, don’t let me move on quickly. Don’t let me miss what you have for me. Don’t let me just keep living you.

Fighting to embrace and learn,

Fighter to ‘Be Present’