this will more than likely be the first of a handful of passion-unpacking-posts. i got back last night around 10:30 from the Passion Conference in Atlanta. i went last year and it was enormously life-altering. this year it was a little different. not better or worse, still awesome and life-altering, but different still.
last year i went to Passion needing an eye opening experience. a swift Jesus-kick to the face if you will. not that i have it all together this year, because i most assuredly do not, but i have matured significantly in the past year and the "boom" from last year seemed slightly lacking this time. however, it made up for it in other areas.
last year i went for the music. i wanted to hear Crowder basically, but this year i went searching for a couple nuggets of knowledge to come away with. since this is passion though these nuggets manifested themselves in the form of boulders instead. i was hit with two major topics on this trip, discovering humility and reaching the unreached people groups of the world.
humility is something i've been fervently trying to master for years now. Beth Moore spoke on humility this year and had, as expected, some pretty dece thoughts. the one i latched on to most was the fact that if we lead humble lives we do so unnaturally, or the idea that we are naturally prideful as human beings. a stunning reality for me, and one that gave me a great deal of comfort. i'm not a very humble person, but my humility abounds in comparison to the self-centered life i've led in the past. i'm getting better, but just as we will never reach the apex of knowledge in life we will also never reach the apex of humility. we are unnaturally humble. we can strive for it all we like, but we will never achieve it to perfection. but that is good news because while one could see the glass half empty and say, "well, why try then?" another might see it more positively and realize that this is an amazing opportunity. while we will always be somewhat prideful, we can always arrive at a greater level of humility in our lives. that is good news.
the speakers, Louie Giglio, in particular, also drove home the importance of overseas missions, primarily to the unreached people of the world. a lot of the emphasis in the talks was that we should not become complacent in our Johnson County Lifestyle (my words, not theirs), but that instead we have a calling to preach. we have a duty to tell the world about Jesus Christ, and i thought both Louie and John Piper landed that point well. however, i was a little frustrated at the same time, i felt like they emphasized overseas missions nearly too much and failed to include the fact that everyone has their own mission field in their own town. i had a lengthy conversation with one of my best friends, Dan, about this. Both of us believe that everyone has their own mission field everywhere they go, and that the engineers, accountants, construction workers, teachers, and the whatevers all have their own area of influence as well. i felt like that point was missed along the way. i'm going into youth ministry soon, and even i felt a little guilt for not reaching out to the Della people of northern Iraq or the Muslims in Indonesia or whoever else hasn't heard the gospel. it was a message that needed to be presented and a message that needed to be heard, but i think a side note touching on the fact that not all of us are called to be long term missionaries would have been nice.
anyway. it was a really awesome trip and i still haven't come close to unpacking everything though (especially Piper's talk and Francis Chan's). i'm now reading Crowder's first book Praise Habit too. so look forward to a review of that dandy. lovin it so far.
but i now must go and attempt to eat dinner out at the Q without wisdom teeth. yesss.