COUNTDOWN – 16 DAYS!!
This was such a great day. With my hike just around the corner, the high school at the Miamisburg campus invited me back to share with the students. I really appreciate high school students and the fresh, dynamic way they look at life. I am always challenged in their presence and often inspired by their hearts’ commitment to faith.
Since I had already shared the details of my A.T. hike with this group several months ago, I wanted to share something different. I choose to share some ideas on how people change their worlds by using their giftedness and following God’s call on their lives. I used Ephesians 4:1 as a key verse to explore my thoughts: “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” I shared a concept that my friend and mentor, Greg Kurtz, often communicates – you are not called to change THE world, but you are called to change YOUR world. I presented several examples of people who used their gifts and talents to change the world around them – Bob Briner, Frank Peretti, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Joni Eareckson Tada, and David Green, as well as some unknown, contemporary teens (Laura Sweeting, Candonino Agusen, and Amanda LaMunyon) who are doing some incredible things to serve others.
I concluded that all of these “world changers” had at least two things in common – vision and courage. Zeroing in on the character quality of courage and the importance of never giving up, I tried to make the connection between courage and the call. The source of courage is not found in the depths of man but in the hand of God. If one is called to a task or a mission, the source of courage comes from the One who has done the calling. If God has called me to the trail, He will not abandon me, nor fail me, nor remove His hand of protection from me. My courage comes from His presence. My confidence is found in the call. There is much to learn, adversity to embrace, challenge to conquer, some refining to experience, and lots of insight to discover. And my courage will arise from my call to hike.
At the end of the chapel, a very special young lady came to the front and presented me with a check for $1,000!! The check was a result of her initiative and her diligence to have bake sales throughout the school year to support my hike. Ashley you ROCK!! We got a picture taken together with the giant check she presented during chapel. In those discouraging days, the photo of Ashley’s smiling face will inspire me to continue on. She has literally changed my world that we might be able to change the world of others. I have been impressed and humbled by the generosity and kindness of others; I have been brought to tears by the expressions of love and support from students and family; but Ashley holds a special spot of inspiration and admiration. The next time I present about world changers, Ashley’s picture will be in my PowerPoint!