Twenty thirteen came swiftly this year. Went to bed one night, and next thing I knew, it was January 2013. Unbelievable.
I am charging through the last semester of of my last year of Hillsong College. What a journey it has been! And most of you have been following it the entire way! I walk around during classes and feel like the old guy…it is exciting to see the new students come in, just beginning their journey, and knowing that they too, will never be the same. God has used this place to do more in me than I could have ever imagined possible. This church, this city, and it’s people have changed me forever.
I’m still living in The Compound with a fresh batch of young guys. Heath and I are the last standing original members. The Compound is in a new era, and I like it. I’ll give you a quick rundown of the guys:
Me: I’m awesome. None disagree.
Dehan: From South Africa. 19. Good guy, responsible, with long blond hair.
Zach: Good guy, with a great body. Classic Minneapolis vibes. Most people who aren’t me wish they were him.
Heath: He’s getting married in July. He’s working 4 jobs. Not completely sure if he lives with us anymore or not…but he has a key to the place, so I’ll include him here.
Evan: From South Carolina. Chilled out to the max. About 5 minutes ago he said, in seriousness, “I think in the future iPhones will be clear.” I don’t know where that came from, but I like where it’s going.
Shawn: New Orleans skater boi. Quick witted. Mean like Dan Dan.
Luke: A passing brother of a friend. Leaving in a couple weeks, but a fun bloke to laugh with. 3rd Garmon boy I’ve met in my life.
Mike: True Blue Aussie wild card. By definition, he is a hipster. He makes his own soap, brews his own beer, wears skinny jeans and a sailor hat. Funniest guy in my world at the moment.
One question I have been getting asked NON STOP (at least once a day) is: “So what are you going to do when you’re done here?”
The human complex is interesting. No one ever asks me “What are you doing right now?” Everyone is fixated on the plans of my untouchable future. There is something in us that desires…destination.
“Are we there yet?” A question that I’ve asked countless times, on countless road trips to Disneyland. The desire for destination is in our growing up, and it doesn’t fade away when after puberty has had it’s heyday. We all want to go…somewhere, yet the kicker is this: every arrival requires a departure. That sounds nice and poetic, but when the reality of a, or the, departure hits you, maybe like a ton of bricks, a civil war breaks out inside your chest. I want to but I DON’T.
I want groceries, but I don’t want to go to the store.
I want to get fit, but I don’t want to exercise and work out.
I want to see the world, I don’t want to leave home.
I want to be free, but I don’t want to take these chains off.
It is our humanity on full display. Like any war, there can only be one. There is a winner and a loser. One dies. One lives. One Light. One dark. One Arrives. One Departs. Jesus flips this blog on it’s head in Luke 17:33 when he drops this little nugget: “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
Jesus, because He is God, and is outside of time itself, but graced us with 33 years on this earth, is our history book at this moment, and he explains our internal civil war to us. Now the context of this passage is Jesus talking about “The Kingdom of God” to his disciples, however there is a profound principle in the text.
Whoever preserves, sits back, or does not depart, actually doesn’t get what they want; they lose their life. Whoever loses their life, gives it up, and departs; they preserve their life. The Greek word that Jesus uses for ‘preserve’ is better translated “to give, or bring forth life”. Jesus is giving his disciples, and us the secret to not just life, but also living.
It’s an upside down Kingdom. And if we are to live a “Your Kingdom come on EARTH as it is in HEAVEN” kind of life, we need to get our heads around this Upside Down (yet so…right side up) Kingdom of which Jesus Christ is the King. Our job is to bring this upside down kingdom life into our every day.
I had to depart my old life, so that I could step into my new life. I had to lay down my pride, to pick up my purpose. I had to let go of my heartache, to find my healing.
Every arrival requires a departure. And praise God every departure requires an arrival! You have to count the cost for yourself! Where do you want to be? Who or what do you have to leave behind in order to get there? How bad do you want it?
I will give you a tip: Don’t jump on a plane.
Jump on Isaiah 40.
“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
That is what I’m doing now, and tomorrow, and the next day. I’m flying. We can keep asking the fruitless question with those around us “Are we there yet?” or we can, with an understanding that we are going somewhere, ask a better question; “Where are we now?”