05 Sep PB and J Matters.
Here we are my friends. It is September 5, 2012. Exactly 1 month, 7 days, 6 hours, 4 minutes and 38…39…40…seconds since the close of Impact. And if you were there, you remember it. Hundreds of people under a starlit sky, holding onto each other and singing “Our God is Greater”, while the scars of his mercy were painted onto a giant canvas and you had that heartbreaking juxtaposition of severe joy and broken longing colliding in your chest. Because you realized simultaneously it was once again the end of something great and the start of the something great.
T.S Elliot still never fails to inspire me; whether with his imagery laden poetry (Do I dare to eat a peach?…yeah check that one out) or the simple syntax of a well-sentenced thought, his words dig out the meaning from somewhere I’ve long since visited.
“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is often where we start from.”
It’s the start of a new year. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils. The frequencies of your math teacher’s voice (who bears a slight resemblance to Raz from Monster’s Inc). How the clock does indeed move slower between the hours of 1 and 2 and how your yogurt just doesn’t taste as good by 7th period lunch.
And that sinking feeling in your stomach that it’s just another year. It’s just another Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich week. It’s just another locker combination next to the girl you don’t talk to, the guy who’s sneakers smell from practice.
That time when you sang your heart out under the stars is a distant memory that you’d might as well shove into your backpack with your Bio book and 5 star binder right?
Recall that character who spoke right to the voice in your head.
“I am someone with purpose–made to give as he has given. I am part of something bigger than me, which means I’m important. I’m worthy. I matter. I’m not a mistake or a mess-up or a rough draft.”
Recall that word that stuck in your mind after you spent the day digging your tent out of the mud.
“This place is trying to break my belief…but my faith is bigger than all I can see.”
Rewind to that second when you thought you could change something. When you thought you could make it happen.
“Remember a time when you were someone who believed you could do something great. Something bold and beyond you. Become that person again. Don’t let that person get lost underneath the projections and the statistics and the nay-sayers. But stand up and fight for something more than everything we’ve been settling for till now.”
Re-dream what you thought was possible when Bing spoke about Hope.
Re-love the parts of yourself that you’ve started to hate again. Lover’s gonna love. Creator’s gonna create. Savior’s gonna save.
RE-equip your mind, body, soul, spirit, voice, pen, camera, feet, heart, fingers…to keep running the race marked out for you.
Re-sing the songs that re-minded you who your God is. Because he is not dead…he is surely alive. And he’s living on the inside.
Re-discover who he is.
Because this is not the end by any stretch of the imagination. Go back to that place one more time.
Remember the song “Marching On”. Remember the pistol? Those runners on the stage, they didn’t end at the finish line for a reason. They didn’t end with a grand finale and a fanfare and a medal ceremony.
They ended in a starting position.
“The end is often where we start from.”
So yeah, you don’t get to fight off crazy lightning and wind storms from within a plastic tent every night this week. You probably won’t run into Emily Bingham in her Hope tee shirt. “One Thing Remains” might not come on the radio right when you need to hear it. You likely won’t start jumping up and down in a field with 600 other teenagers to an old school Mary Mary song while Cody Sherry raps and Ryan Muprhy conducts light shows from the sound tower.
But you will still have that God..breathing life and hope and joy inside your lungs at every moment.
You will still see those people you worshipped and fought and cried and prayed with.
You are still SALT and LIGHT wherever you are.
You still matter.
They still matter. The girl you don’t talk to and the guy with his sneakers. The math teacher who reminds you of Raz and the janitor who forgot to fix the clock in 5th period. They still need the hope you have. And you still need it too.
So keep running the race. Take your PB and J to another table. Share it with a friend or a stranger. Send a note to someone who could use it.Burn an Impact Playlist for your friend in youth group. Offer to help your mom with the dishes. Remember who you are.
The God you met at Impact…is the same God now.
Hitter’s gonna hit.
You a hitter?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses
to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT