Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer 08: Do Hard Things

Well, I have been blessed this summer to meet with a group of six High School girls. Students of mine this last year. We were talking at one of the end of the year celebrations and we decided to do a discipleship group on Thursday nights. So far, I have been blessed. We decided to read a book entitled, Do Hard Things, by the Harris twins. A teenage REBELution against low expectations. Such a good book, such a good message. I actually have come to believe that this message is for the many twenty-somethings that I run with as well. Do hard things, do things out of your comfort zone, do things that require some hard self-initiation, do things that counter the cultural norm, do things that no one will notice but God. Do hard things.
I have been so impressed with the message presented in this book and I recommend it to all youth leaders, high school teachers, and the like. One of the chapters in the book is called the Myth of Adolescence. A myth? hmmmmm. The word "teen" was not used until the year 1941. The typical rebellious youth years did not actually exist until after the first world war. Interesting. The general point of this book is that society has placed low expectations upon the teens and nobody rises to the occasion when they are not expected to. So it is a REBELution against low expectations. Heroes of our faith and heroes of the secular world started when they were teens. Charles Spurgeon was preaching to thousands by the time he was 17. When Jonathan Edwards was a teen, he wrote some of the deepest and most challenging resolutions for the rest of his life. The book names some of the greats who did great things as teenagers. George Washington and Clara Barton.
As I look back on my teen years I see a lot of waste. Thank God that I didn't wast all of those years, but I could have done so much more. Also, I have been thinking about my twenties as well. Did I do hard things? Did I jump out of my comfort zone? In some ways yes, and others, not at all.
The Bible is constantly telling us to live a PASSIONate life dedicated to knowing Christ and making Him known. Do we pour out our lives for the sake of others? Do we cling to the eternal hope of glory instead of to the things of this world? Do we see Christ, our savior, our sacrifice and leave all else behind? Do we commit our lives to the church, His body, to minister to our fellow brothers and sisters?

What hard things will I do this summer?

Well, the ones I can share on the internet=)
1. Juice vegetables for two meals a day. ahhhhhhhhhhh!
2. Get knee surgery. I'm scared.
3. Purpose to rejoice in the midst of disappointment.
4. Teach english to Ukrainians for a week.
5. Get a bike and ride it to work in the fall.
6. Memorize loads of scripture.
7. Get a hold of my budget and stick to it.
8. Never gossip.
9. Be able to run 3 miles by Thanksgiving. After my knee surgery. yikes. and dare I say, be able to run a 5k in the spring. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
10. Start my Master's degree. Lord, I need money.

You may be thinking that those are not very hard. Well, get your own list. This is mine. Well, the "surface-y" one. The deeper ones are none of your business. So what hard things will you do? I challenge my friends Renee, Stephanie and Rachel to make a list and post it on their blogs. ha ha. You don't have to, but it would be fun to see what you say. Rach, have a second child. That should be number one, you amaze me every time I read your blog. What a great mother Georgia and Henry have!!!! Thanks for showing me how to do hard things and you didn't even know it.