By Kristi Porter
I live a life of mystery. I wake up every day to uncertainly. I am trained for random possibilities. Circumstance and opportunity constantly present themselves. I wouldnt say danger is my middle name, per se, but if youve ever driven in Atlanta traffic, you know its there. Am I a spy? No. Police officer? No. Try this. I work in an office. I live in suburbia. I frequent Starbucks. I might just be you.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been wrestling with a big life decision. Throughout this process, I kept repeating that I never wanted to be a person known for making safe choices. Instead, I want to take leaps of faith when God says, Jump! I never want to sacrifice His will for my comfort. I think we miss so many jaw-dropping, life-changing, breath-taking moments by settling for security, order and predictability. Though these are not inherently bad, they can easily take priority over obedience to the Lord and thats a problem.
Some say we are all in recovery from something. If so, I confess. Hello, my name is Kristi and Im a recovering control freak. My road to recovery started four years ago on the Chaos Mission Trip, which Ive since been on five times. Its unconventional because there is no set destination. Seriously, we just get in a car and go. Using the basis of Luke 10, where Jesus sends out the seventy-two, the journey is completely dependent upon the Holy Spirits guidance and our discernment of it. We prepare through team training, but ultimately, its in Gods hands. Therefore, I had to learn to let go. Consequently, I learned that submission is a choice, not a weakness. True freedom has resulted.
Now let me clue you in on something. The need for control is a drug, insatiable and limitless. And if you let control rule your actions and decisions, you will wake up to disappointment every day. You will always see only what you can touch, not what God can dream. But heres the good news you can change.
So many Christians, myself included for a long time, read the stories of the Bible and think they are limited to its pages. Not so. My friends and I are living proof! We have seen Biblically-sized events in modern times. In fact, we have stumbled upon a McDonalds gospel band, stayed in unfamiliar houses, been clothed, been fed, cried with strangers, judged a local American Idol contest, received healing and numerous other things. But what we have constantly witnessed from year to year is the power and presence of the Spirit. We give Him the freedom to work because we do not seek control. All we do is connect and serve with no other motive than love, nothing more than we can do on a daily basis at work, home, school or wherever. It is truly life changing.
I know a lot of people say that by desiring control we put God in a box, but maybe we really put ourselves in a box. Its cozy and familiar. Its perfect, until we want a bigger or shinier box. But those boxes can suffocate Gods vision, and by locking ourselves away we miss out on a big part of who He is. His world beyond the box is filled with unending possibility – the Spirit unleashed! And best of all, to summarize Dorothy Gale, its in our own backyards. It is our perspective that changes, not our proximity. Its a life of adventure lived from cubicles and classrooms. All it requires is a willing heart and a random act of kindness like talking to a bank teller, befriending a co-worker or classmate, leaving a note for a server, and smiling at a grocery clerk.
But in fairness, I will warn you. If you choose this life, it will no longer be your own. It will be exhausting, but rewarding. It will be consuming, but fulfilling. It will be scary, but worth it to see your faith grow and know God like you never have before. And you may just be surprised at what lifes biggest decisions really begin to look like.
Admit it, it sounds like fun. Mystery? Opportunity? Maybe a little danger? Wrestle with it, but I hope you give it a try. Take the leap. Find freedom in letting go. Realize that you cant control the chaos of life, but you can control how you act within it.
Just promise me youll never play it safe. Oh, and see you at Starbucks!
If you liked this article, check out: Living Missionally: A Luke 10 Adventure
Kristi lives in suburban Atlanta and works for the Captain Planet Foundation. She is heavily involved in her local church and is currently building two nonprofits in her spare time. Mind Altering Love is an arts and entertainment ministry and the soon-to-be-named organization will promote team training, leadership development and the Chaos Mission Trip, the highlight of her year.