When I was in college, I was involved in an organization called Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). Cru is an interdenominational evangelical Christian organization. There were things about the organization that I liked and disliked (as with most organizations), I won’t bore you with a list of either. However, I will say that one of my most life altering experiences came from being involved with this ministry.
In the summer of 2005 (the summer before my Junior year at SFA – Axe Em’ Jacks), I was given the opportunity to travel to Australia for six weeks with an amazing team of people – mostly northerners (I was the token Texan of the group).
While we were there, a portion of our outreach took place at The University of Melbourne (referred to as Uni). We were given a charge to go out and make disciples of men (Matthew 28:19).
Well, that should be easy.
Jesus is awesome. I wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t, as a matter of fact, no one would be. So surely EVERYONE wants to talk to me about how awesome he is. Not only that, but I did the training! I know how to lead people to the Lord! I have a bag full of Cru issued “bring people to Jesus” pamphlets, so this should go very smoothly.
I could not have been more wrong.
I was out there giving it my all, sweating it out for Jesus. I was walking all over that campus giving the best Jesus pitch I could muster up. Not only did people NOT want to talk to me about how awesome Jesus is, most of the people I talked to had NEVER EVEN HEARD OF JESUS (I know right? Pick your jaw up). Some people gave me the courtesy of letting me talk my way through the explanation of how the best and worst of us fall short and need the sacrifice that God made, sacrificing his only son (Jesus), to bridge the gap between us and him. They nodded in all the right places, but in the end refused to let me pray with them so that they could accept Jesus into their hearts.
After that first day I was defeated. I was tired. I was crying. My feelings were hurt. I felt rejected and disrespected. I literally just shared a way to spend ETERNITY in paradise with the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE. That doesn’t interest you at all? I just felt sad. Needless to say, my world was rocked. I remember thinking, “these people must be crazy if they think I am coming back here to do this again tomorrow.”
This is why they send you to across the country with a team. A team of people who encourage you.
After seeking counsel from my peers, I walked away knowing that one, Christ had it way worse than my few weeks of outreach – I definitely wasn’t crucified. Two, just because these young adults didn’t receive Jesus from me, right then, didn’t mean they wouldn’t receive Him! Maybe they went home and research further. Maybe they finally accepted a friends invitation to attend a church service. Maybe some of these college students would eventually turn into Christ loving, Bible thumping Christians who’d make their way around Uni witnessing to people themselves. Three (and my main point for this entry), THIS WAS NOT ABOUT ME. It wasn’t about how I felt, I wasn’t there to feel warm and fuzzy. I wasn’t there to make friends. I wasn’t there so that people would like me. I wasn’t there to blend in. I was there to share the love of Christ, and to try and recruit as many people to #TeamJesus that I possibly could.
Philippians 2:4 says, “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others”. Surely we can all agree that I needed to set my PRIDE aside, and march my Texan self back onto that campus, and talk about Jesus until my face turned blue, because the best interest of the “others” in this situation was life or death. I do believe life outweighs pride, and it should in every account. So I did.
I would love to say that this molded me to be the most selfless person on this side of Texas, and I NEVER struggle with making situations all about me, how I feel, how I was treated unfairly, how I was offended, how I was cheated, how I’m so tired, I am not considered, or how I’m not respected, but, this just isn’t so. I sometimes get caught up in the hype:
The truth is, it never is.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” -Galatians 2:20