Worship services & 5Ks: Millennials making a difference

Last semester, during a Spanish class I was taking at Northwestern University, my professor brought up the Greek financial crisis. One of my classmates was from Greece, and planned to go back home after the semester to a place where, he claimed, people are “lazy.”

The class of 20-something students chuckled, but my professor responded gravely: “Well, what do you think the solution to this problem is, then?”

We stopped laughing, and looked back at her blankly.

Then, she looked directly at me.

“The solution is YOU!” she exclaimed. Some people jumped at her voice’s increased decibels, and before their butts could hit their seats again, she continued on:

“It’s time for your generation to step up. What are you going to do about this? What are you going to do with your gifts, your talents, the internet?”

And we shifted in our seats awkardly.

“It would only take a few of you to start a revolution – go out there and make a difference.”

And I started thinking about my generation: what are the Millennials doing to make a difference in the world? Like I said in my post yesterday, high school students at Willow Creek Community Church are working in Africa, El Salvador and in public high schools all over the state to make the name of Jesus famous, and one of my classmates at Northwestern, Darren Zancan, is working on starting a Sunday night worship service at his church in Munster, Indiana (check out his blog post here – awesome). Inspired by his father’s death several years ago, Darren is starting a worship service that will undoubtedly impact hundreds of lives, and I realized that none of these choices were easy. It’s uncomfortable to sleep in a tent in the desert in Africa, it’s uncomfortable to get up on a stage in front of a congregation and sing in front of a bunch of people about how messed up you are but how awesome Jesus is…and the moral of the story is, that everyone has to be uncomfortable at one point or another in order to truly grow.

So I am stepping out of my comfort zone by signing up for my first 5K (the Merrell Down & Dirty National Mud Run, at the Indian Hills Farm off of Hwy 90 on May 20). I’ve never run more than 1.5 miles at a time, but one of my best friends from college wanted to take on this challenge with me, so I’ve decided to, in addition to surviving, dedicate the adventure to all of the people in the world who have ever felt like they can’t accomplish something. Every time I train, I go out praying that anyone who has ever felt insecure or anxious or has feared the unknown would be encouraged by the following statement: “Do not go where the path may lead – go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Or, as Nike likes to put it, JUST DO IT!!!

Jesus wasn’t always comfortable. Neither were his disciples. Maybe the goal of life is to be uncomfortable…and Lord knows Chicago has plenty of opportunities to get uncomfortable…starting with a muddy 5K. Who’s with me?? 😛

“We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, and we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

-Romans 5:2-

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