“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
This verse takes me back to one of our first few weeks in Guatemala. Everyone was still getting to know each other, and it was taking me some time to get used to being around so many people all of the time, but we were beginning to become a family. Then, we were given a class called, ‘team commitment’. We had all of the time we needed to come up with a team verse, a team code, and applications that followed our mandate, and they locked us in a room until we were done. That day will forever be engraved in my mind. At first, the task sounded pretty simple, but boy was I wrong! It was honestly one of our worst days as a team, but it was the day that turned everything around, and it became IGNITE Class 10’s stepping stone to true unity. Fill a room with twenty one people, twenty one voices, twenty one different interpretations of the task at hand, and you are bound to discover discord, and multiple conflicting opinions. By God’s grace, however, we came together and formed something that truly transformed our team. Our team commitment goes as follows:
“Complete my joy, by being likeminded, having the same love, being in one accord, of the same mind” (Philippians 2:2). We are committed to one mind, one love, one spirit, one purpose, in Christ. Applications: Daily devotions, praying for one team member each day, praying with someone when asked, abide by Matthew 18.
This commitment did not come about easily, or without tension. It was a struggle to agree, and I came to realize that unity cannot be forced. You can’t force twenty one strangers to love each other, and live peaceably with one another, but the love of Christ that binds us all together, can. It wasn’t until all twenty one of us recognized this fact, that we are all one at the foot of the cross, and no one person’s opinion was greater than another’s, did we finally come up with our standard, or rather, God’s standard, of living. It was by God’s grace alone that he brought twenty one complete strangers, from twenty one different walks of life, with twenty one different pasts, to meet in one country, and begin to run this race of faith together, hand in hand. It was by God’s grace alone that a family was formed, hearts were transformed, and we all were able to see ourselves for who we truly are: broken, useless, pieces of clay, made precious, beautiful, and full of value, in the hands of our Maker, our Creator, our Abba Father. Not a single one of us is worthy to be serving the Lord. We are not worthy to teach, and love his children, but we are all called, and made worthy by the love of Jesus. Our worth does not come from who we are, or what we have done, but whose we are, and what He has done on our behalf. Our flesh had to, has to, and forever must die, that the power of Christ, the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead, might live and thrive within us. This year is not ours, it is His; it is not by our strength, but wholly through His. The very class that could have wrecked us all, became our greatest victory, and brought twenty one strangers into a bond that will never be broken, and for that, I am forever grateful.
Jesus, as I am sitting on this airplane heading home, I can’t help but think of the past three months. All of the memories, all of the laughs, all of the tears, all of the joy, every kids club, every outreach, every night of prayer, we did together, as one body. Leaving them feels like a piece of my heart is being ripped out of my chest, but I believe that we shall all witness your goodness in the land of the living. If we are willing and obedient, we will see your faithfulness and goodness, poured out on our behalf. It is going to be so hard doing life without my brothers and sisters, but the work you are going to accomplish in and through us, far surpasses anything I can dream up, or imagine. Thank you Jesus, praise you God, for leading me to take a leap of faith, and join IGNITE. Thank you for every single person you brought into my life; strengthen them for the purpose you have planned for them. Make us brave, and draw us near.
Application: During my ten days home, I will text all twenty one of my teammates, at least once, with a word of encouragement. I am going to miss them deeply, but God is going to use them mightily, and it is time for us to walk in the plans he has established.