Thursday, 28 November 2019

Own it. Live it.

We all experience awkwardness – those moments when something happens to us or something we say or do causes us to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.

Mike Gordon, the chapel speaker for Smithville Christian High School’s annual Spiritual Emphasis Week, said when he was in Grade 6 and assigned a role for a skit in a school assembly, he totally missed his cue.

He found himself on stage, loudly delivering his lines, at completely the wrong time. Later, when he was a new student enrolled at Bible college, he was told by some other students that he was equally out of step, that he didn’t belong.

 “If someone had told me then, ‘Mike, you are going to be on the stage quite a lot,’ I would have said ‘no, no, no, no, no.’ ”

Fast forward to today, when he is a sought-after speaker, travelling and preaching and spending much of his working life on stage – often in front of thousands of people.

Gordon said he found his calling by accepting his uniqueness and the plan God made for him. “Deep inside of me, God placed a desire in me,” and it was only when he stopped trying to be like the other seminarians and theology students that he was able to thrive in his unique ministry.

But simply recognizing his gifts didn’t mean he was suddenly a successful speaker. Gordon said he had to work hard to prepare himself.

The Biblical story of Jacob has a similar pattern. Jacob tricked his brother and deceived his father in order to get what he thought he wanted. He gained it, but then had to flee for his life. In a dream, God revealed to Jacob the purpose and plan for his life: “that his descendants would be like the dust of the earth that can’t be counted. They will spread out to the west and to the east. They will spread out to the north and to the south. All nations on earth will be blessed because of you and your children after you.” (Genesis 28:14). In order to achieve that plan, of being a father to many descendants, the culture of Jacob’s time and place required that he work to earn his wife. So that’s what he did.

“The turning point for Jacob was when he started tying into the plans God had for him,” Gordon said.

“What’s your dream?” Gordon asked students. “What’s your desire? When you look deep down inside yourself, what has God put in your heart? What desires has God put there?”

Many people find that a difficult question to answer, he said.

Gordon said students at Smithville Christian High School, who are part of the post-millennial generation, can struggle with a question like that. “It is said that this generation is apathetic, that it has lost the ability to dream.”

That could be due to the pressure of social media, and being inundated with the accomplishments and successes of others. “We become scared to dream, because it is safer not to dream than it is to put yourself out there and follow the desires God has put on your heart.”

Gordon said no matter how old you are or what stage of life you are at, there are three questions you can ask yourself that can help you answer the bigger question of what is God’s plan for your life.

What is your passion?
What are your talents?
What are your motivations?

Gordon invited students to ask and answer these questions with the people sitting around them, and to keep asking and answering these questions all their lives.

Gordon said he is confident that if we can tap into our passions, talents, and motivations, we will find ourselves lining up with the desires God has placed in us, and we will experience deep peace and contentment.

“Stop looking at what everyone else is doing and focus on what God has planned for you,” he said. Then take the necessary steps and do the necessary work to get there.

“Own it. Live it.”

Student praise team “Amplified” led in worship with “One Way,” “Reckless Love,” “Touch the Sky,” and “Happy Day.”

Discussion questions
·        What are you passionate about?
·        What are you good at?
·        When you see what’s happening around you, what motivates you to make a difference in the world?
·        How do those three things connect with our uniqueness and God’s plan for our lives?
·        How can your dreams glorify God?

The final chapel of Spiritual Emphasis Week starts at 12:30 on Friday. All are welcome!

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