Safety First!

I thought money was going to be my parents’ main concern, but it was actually about safety. I wish I could impart on them the faith I have that I’ll be safe in SE Asia. I understand the lengths to which staff go to in order to guarantee the safety of all the students, but it’s difficult to relay that to my parents. My faith rests in God alone, but because my rentals don’t believe in God, I can’t appeal to them on that basis. 

There’s no common ground. 

God please continue to work in mysterious ways in their heart. Also please keep working in my own to trust you; not by logic, but by faith. 

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Give me a Break!

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.

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