I’ve thought a lot about Big Break. During spring break each year, Epic has organized a trip to Panama City Beak, Florida to attend a evangelism conference. Over 1000 students attend each session to go out onto the beach to share the gospel with the spring breakers. I didn’t go two years ago – didn’t really feel like I missed out. I didn’t go last year – I felt a little bit more guilt, but nothing more than that. This year was practically my last chance to go, but again I wasn’t compelled to go. So, why?
I think I was largely unmotivated to go because I was weary about having a conversation with my parents about money. I know that the $721 for the conference this year isn’t money out of my own pocket, but the conversations about understanding money or raising support were what made me apprehensive about even asking. To be honest, I didn’t even end up talking to them about fundraising for Big Break because I was so sure they’d say no. Then, compound that fear with my lack of enthusiasm about going to Big Break, and I end up feeling like the trip isn’t worth it. I’ve done evangelism on my own campus for 2 1/2 years; why do I need to pay money to go to Florida to do the same thing when the point is to equip you at the beach with tools you can bring back to your campus? The short amount of time to raise money wasn’t very encouraging either. I had all about given up hope on being able to do any sort of missions trip.
I was convinced if I were to go on some sort of trip, I’d have to convince my parents to let me go. Whether it was with my words, or through argument, the only way I would be able to go on any missions trip or conference is if I logically convinced them. In my mind, I had three “cards” I felt like I could play with my parents.
1. you didn’t let me go to onething, so, therefore you should let me go to ___.
2. 4 years ago, you said that if I got into optometry school, you’d let me go to the unite for sight trip. Well, now I’ve gotten in.
3. I got into optometry school, so please stop worrying and let me do this. You have no reason to say no.
I could not bring myself to say any of these though. It felt too much like I was trying to manipulate the situation in my favor. The sheer fact that I can verbalize any of these reasons made me uncomfortable. Didn’t seem realistic, nor did it feel right.
So, last night at breakaway, Ben said something like, we distort our reality to match the way we want our lives to work. For instance, we convince ourselves our sins aren’t as bad because we don’t go as far, or we don’t sin as the other guy. Or, we try to barter with God. If I give God this, then he should give me this. If I give up this part of my life, he should honor me for glorifying him by giving me something else. Ironically, Ben stuart was saying, God holds all the cards. We don’t have anything of worth that we can use to barter with Him. So, why do we distort the reality?
So, as I think about the conversation about money with my parents (the one I didn’t have), and the desire to go on big break (the one I was lacking), and the manipulative thinking I’ve been holding back on (because of the Holy Spirit), it makes me realize that I really do have an uphill battle in this area of faith.
Thankfully, God is faithful, and he fulfills his promises. I know this because my parents called me yesterday and asked me what I wanted to do this summer. I said, “Uhh. Uh uh I want to do missions.” It was a short conversation, but they surprisingly okay with that idea. They also pitched the idea of going to Hong Kong and working for my uncle for the summer; they said this would be the last chance I would be able to do anything like this because this (and next) summer are my last free summers. They said, if you want to, you could go on a two week trip and still go to HK, which is still an idea. I immediately responded saying, “Yeah! I think that’d be a great idea. Although, Mom, I really want to go on a 6 week trip to SE Asia or Japan or East Asia, but we should talk about it later after I have more details.” Honestly, I still feel somewhat anxious, but I’m much more eager and excited about the possibility of going on a missions trip, and as soon as I talked with my parents, my mind was racing with the possibilities of what could happen. All the thoughts I had about big break were dissipating little by little and I could feel hope again. I know that there is still an uphill climb; I still hav eto talk to them about finances and raising support, but I do have a lot of hope and trust in the Lord right now. If he brings me on a summer project, it’ll be a trip of a lifetime, truly lifechanging. It’ll be more than just an experience, but really a chance to love on people in a different context and also debunk a lot of the myths and lies that Satan has fed me to discourage me from support raising and missions over the past few years. I REALLY WANT TO GO. And, I felt nothing like this for big break previously, so that’s a good sign, right? I feel like this is a reminder to be patient and depend on the Lord, instead of on myself or my ability to convince my parents. Keep praying that I’ll stop manipulating my reality. Pray for summer project! 🙂