Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ten Thousand Words- The Avett Brothers

Ten thousand words swarm around my head
Ten million more in books written beneath my bed
I wrote or read them all when searchin’ in the swarms

Just got back from the trip of a lifetime... I never thought that this trip would carry so much impact on me. Some say that with each time travelling you learn more about yourself, who you are and what your capable of. With the lessons this trip my mind was shaped and i hope to have grown stronger.
And says I’m too caught up
They say young is good and old is fine
And truth is cool but all that matters
Is that you have your good times

Travelling with a group of 18 others to a foreign country with an academic, spiritual and social goal in mind seems a bit of a stretch. In fact, i believed it to be nearly impossible, thinking i would most likely be sacrificing one if not two of the three goals in mind. Of coarse if i were to choose which ones, i would have been left with purely social/ entertaining, but the Lord had something different and way more real planned out for our lives during this trip. I look forward to documenting pieces of this trip for the readers: bit by bit.

I had spent my time on the plane reading Rob Bell's new book "Love Wins." I do admit the controversy surrounding this book influenced my decision to read it heavily. Yet, within the first 40 pages i resonated with his questions, his tone and his agenda more than any other book i have read in the last couple months. There are 2 billion Christians... what happens to the 4 billion others? Is the God we serve willing to punish the majority of the earth's people? I began a wrestling match with these kind of topics (unanswerable questions) during my first trip to Kenya. Here my eyes were opened to a hurt and pain that i had never seen before, past national geographic or television programs. It became real when i made real friends who were facing unimaginable hardships.

And here i am.....

Why am i so lucky? Why was i born into freedom of religion, freedom of speech and wealth? Why has life been so easy for me?
But their good times come with prices
And I can’t believe it when I hear the jokes they make
At anyone’s expense except their own
Would they laugh if they knew who paid?

The hard thing is i can't answer those questions and neither can any scholar or professional out there. In fact, my life is nothing more than a faith based travel, something that looks similar to the lives of the early christians, to Paul. We studied Paul intensely on this trip. The opportunities to visit such places as Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Miletus, Laodecia and more continued to focus my mind on Paul as a real human who had an amazing faith.

Impact moment: I was sitting on the stairs of the Great Theatre in Ephesus. Here is the city where Paul was beaten, torn up but remained strong in preaching the gospel. Here is where the first of the early churches were started amongst "house churches", which can be described as 10 people meeting in a home to worship and we had the opportunity to see and touch these ruins. Here is where 25,000 people rioted in the streets against Paul's message, and Here is where it became real to me.

I was looking out towards the theatre street, which in its time led straight to the Sea. The street was clear and images of the ancient Ephesians kept coming to my head. What would i be like if i were alive during this time? Would i accept Paul's message or would i be stuck in my own polytheistic ways?
Ain’t it like most people? I’m no different
We love to talk on things we don’t know about

To slow your life down and know that God has placed you in the exact moment, with the knowledge, friendships, character, passion and experience that you have is a life changing practice. When i get worked up with compassionate questions that i can not answer, these moments where God sits me down, simply allowing me to know that he is real, Paul was real, the Ephesians were real and my struggles and victories are real, now can not be erased in my mind!

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