Remember going into your senior year of college and wondering what was going to happen to your life over the next year?
This past weekend I gathered a group of my old Young Life girls who are in this boat right now. I wanted to talk to them about life post college and give them advice about their decision making. Selfishly, I also just wanted time with them because I LOVE them (even the ones who didn’t come to our reunion).
“Don’t be afraid to follow God down a path that may be exactly what you don’t want,” I told them. This was exactly what happened to me. I wanted grad school – parental support for three more years and a “guaranteed” great salary when I finished. But God led me to Young Life staff – an almost thankless job that was emotionally draining and paid little money. As I thought about my experience and I looked around at the faces I loved so dearly, I realized once again how much I would have missed out on if I had said no to God when I wanted to.
I would have missed the generosity of Telicia which transformed my whole view on what it means to share your home. I would have missed out on seeing dozens of high school students meet Jesus for the first time and begin walking with Him. I would have missed deep friendships. There is nothing like being in the trenches of ministry with a kindred spirit. I would have missed meeting Tanya and the way her friendship has enriched my ministries and life. I would have missed meeting JR at a Young Life Camp. I would have missed a lot. I wouldn’t have been sitting in a Galveston beach house this past weekend with women I respect and adore. Imagine how different my life would be if I had said no when God wanted me to go.
As I shared this with the girls one of them said, “Imagine how different our lives would be.” It wasn’t just my future at stake when I was debating at age 21 what to do, it was also theirs. Most of this group began walking with Jesus through God’s work in Young Life while they were in high school. I had the privilege of baptizing several of them with Telicia before they went off to college. A few of them have been actively serving in college ministries pursuing others because of the way God pursued them while they were in high school. Like Shelley Giglio said at IF:Gathering in February, “A lot of people’s futures are hanging in the balance of our yes to Jesus. It’s not just for you.”
While making decisions in any time of transition, may I encourage you to follow Jesus, even if it’s down a road you would rather not travel. God is sovereign and he can accomplish anything without you; but, you may miss out on some great adventures and blessings if you are unwilling to say yes. My yes has involved a lot of sacrifices and acts of obedience, but I’ve never regretted it. There are even some people out there who are thankful for it.
“Based on what we have heard from Jesus in the Gospels, we would have to agree that the cost of discipleship is great. But I wonder if the cost of nondiscipleship is even greater” – David Platt
Say yes to what God has for you. Don’t find out what the cost is of saying no.
What do you need to say yes to?