Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Minefields and Blind Faith

Last week we began to meet freshman who are beginning their academic career here at Penn State. About 20 students new to CSF came out to play Ultimate Frisbee. That evening we also kicked off our Summer Bible study with an introductory night but the real highlight was God showing up and showing off.

For Bible study, we had 4 new students who'd also played frisbee with us earlier that afternoon. After some introductions we took part in navigating each other through a mine field with our eyes closed and only listening to our partners instructions to safely pass through. Some students only got a few steps in before suffering casualties, others made it safely through. (Note to readers, the mines consisted of squares of bubble wrap that popped when stepped on!)

Watching the students display different styles of giving/following instructions became a big discussion topic afterwards as we talked about the importance of knowing who you can trust. Sometimes in life you have to step out in blind faith not knowing what's ahead and have to trust those around you who do  see the picture. Following God is a lot like that.

Between the discussion, and the rousing success of the minefield, and the attendance of students new to the ministry, we had plenty to praise God for that evening and the next few days. Then on Sunday and Monday, I found myself anxious over how well our study would continue this week. "Will we have another great discussion?" "Is Nick prepared enough?" (Nick is a fellow staff member and recent graduate of Penn State). "Is there another activity we could use to engage students interest?"

Then last night while reading through the story of the Ten Lepers in Luke 17:11-19 God smacked me in the face. Once the ten found themselves healed, only 1 returned to praise God. The other 9 continued on with their lives. Even though I gave credit to God last week for our Bible study, this week I'd fallen back into a mindset of thinking our success depended solely on ourselves.

Father forgive me for such thinking. We can only bear fruit by abiding in you.

Which reminds me of a statement Buzz made two weeks ago in our campus minister's class. A statement I've never heard any other church or ministry declare before. "We cannot guarantee our own fruitfulness. God is responsible for that."

I see myself needing time to continue adopting to that mindset. I will likely continue to discover areas in my mind and heart where I still believe it's all up to us. But in truth, it's all up to God.