Friday, January 11, 2013

Doing Hard Things

“Being faithful in the smallest things is the way to gain, maintain, and demonstrate the strength needed to accomplish something great.”
― Alex Harris

Every year for the past 4 years I have boarded a plane with 50 to 100 of my 8th grade students and traveled to the Bahamas to do the work of missionaries. This year, I wasn't sure I wanted to go. I'm a homebody. I love the peace and quiet of my own home. I dislike flying, and I especially dislike crowds, loud noise, shrieking girls, and staying up late. I am an INTROVERT. I very much like careful plans, early, quiet mornings, my own bed and bathroom, coconut milk coffee creamer, and super clean eating-- none of which I find at camp in the Bahamas.

So, why did I go again this year? Because I had to. I mean, no one forced me. I went because I didn't want to go. Because I knew that the not wanting to go was because God was going to do amazing things. And just as I believe in God, I believe in Satan who tries desperately to stop all things good and wonderful and pure. Yes, I believe that Satan wanted to steal the joy that would come from me witnessing so many teenagers, *gasp* middle schoolers, doing hard things. I've seen kids look fear in the eye and do the hard thing anyway. Students who had conversations with bent and broken people who can barely articulate their thoughts. Students who fed a bedridden woman whose body has nearly lost it's battle with whatever illness has kept her locked inside. Students who could barely hold back tears as a man voiced his only prayer request-- the ability to walk. 

As I ran this morning, my thoughts returned to a book that I read a few years ago: Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. It was written by teen brothers who were so moved by their own apathetic generation that they penned a challenge in book form. I have witnessed so many hard things being done this week. By thirteen and fourteen year olds. It's powerful. 
Pure joy




Students spending time with residents at the All Saints Camp in the Bahamas
So, that's my challenge: do hard things. Don't take the easy way out and do something physically demanding; do something that requires you to share a little piece of your soul with some one else. 

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