By Seth Barnes, Jr.
I’ve gotten a lot of emails and Facebook messages from people wondering if they should go on the World Race. Today I got this Facebook message from an acquaintance at Taylor University. Here’s what he wrote:
I do not know if you remember me, but I likewise graduated in ’07. I have recently found out about World Race and would like to know more from your personal experience. How has it brought you closer to God and how has it impacted your life focus?
Peace – Austin Bennett
What a daunting question! But I’ve found the latter part of that question comes with the former. As I get to know God better, I naturally become more like him and less the way I was. My focus in life changes from me to Christ.
The World Race has given us some tremendous coaches to help with this. Recently, we’ve been learning from two men in particular:
The World Race teams have gotten back together to learn from Gary Black and Andrew Shearman. It’s been a tremendous blessing for me to learn from them.
They spent most of their lives searching for someone to pour into them like they have for me; and I only recently decided to live life to the fullest, to see the kingdom come on earth rather than living for the kingdom after death.
That’s largely what the World Race is about – providing incredible coaches who just want to make you better than them.
Gary once said to us, “I will get down in the mud on my hands and knees so that you can stand on my back and become great.”
And he has done just that. I am forever indebted to the Lord, because of Gary Black.
The World Race is mostly about putting you into situations where you have to trust God and rely completely on him, whether it be thru brokenness, utter dependency or whatever else.
Last month our team cared for a baby that ended up dying after two weeks in our care. It was devastating. It broke us, but it caused us to trust in the Lord. There have been many of these types of experiences.
Recently, I’ve been learning the importance of intimacy with the Lord. Christianity is all about a love affair with Jesus. If I’m following him with all my heart, I’d better know him intimately.
In six months, I’ve seen the Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat, the temples of Thailand, seven beautiful waterfalls ofthe Philippines, and the gorgeous beaches and mountains of Cape Town, South Africa.
And I’ve still got Central America left to see.
For me, the past seven months have awakened me.
I was emailing one of my best friends this morning about it saying, “I got baptized a few days ago by my dad’s mentor. I’ve been baptized before, but I know I’m a completely different person now and wanted to do it again. I feel like I’ve had a second salvation of sorts. Not really a salvation, but a rebirth.”
My mentality was changed. My vision was changed. My outlook on life was changed.
My theology was wrecked, and my heart was broken. I pray that all the Austin Bennetts out there experience brokenness and resolve in their heart of hearts to live life to the fullest and learn gradually through it all that life is most certainly not “about me” but about a great mystery that all of us can have the incredible privilege of being a part of.
God will do what he wants, but how great it is to be the person he uses to do it!
All that’s required of us is a decision.
Seth Barnes Jr. is from Gainesville, GA and is part of a family of seven, including four sisters. Seth recently graduated from Taylor University. After working as an intern for Wrecked for a summer, he joined the World Race and has been traveling around the world for the past six months.