This past summer I decided to attend a Cru summer mission in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This decision was one of the most stressful and terrifying ones I’ve ever made. During this process, I experienced intense doubt, anxiety, pain, and what it means to die to my own desires.
The root of this anxiety was due to desires and plans I had for MY life. I desperately wanted an internship for the summer that would lead to a high-paying engineering job in the aerospace engineering field. I was also seeking the reputation and respect from my classmates that would be associated with an “incredible” internship.
As I mentioned earlier, the choice to pursue God with my summer instead of “investing in my future,” (emphasis on the quotes), felt like actual death—the kind of death that I believe Jesus is talking about in the book of Luke. He says “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). The cross in the Jesus’ time is a symbol of death. Jesus was crucified on the cross. The kind of sacrifice He’s talking about doesn’t just mean waking up early on Sunday mornings to go to church, or praying once in a while before bed. He commands us to take up our cross, to embrace our death, and follow Him.
Author extraordinaire Rick James discusses this topic of little deaths in his book titled A Million Ways to Die: One Way to Live. He says to embrace these small deaths to experience new life. If we die with Christ, we are then raised in new life with Him. This has radically changed my perspective on what it means to daily surrender my life to Christ. Now it’s lifestyle I’ll continue to embrace while clinging to the grace, love, and strength of Christ.
I feel all “great” blogs should end with a quick summary so here we go:
- I’d love to challenge you to pray about spending a summer on mission during your time in college.
- Embrace the little deaths in life. Whatever is holding you back from seeking Christ, die to that. There’s incredible joy to be had in life. And in order for this new life, you must die.
Jason Adlam is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota –Twin Cities studying aerospace engineering. The only things he loves more than the Golden Gophers is Jesus and Taco Bell. In that order. He blogs at jasonadlam.wordpress.com.