Today’s article was originally published by the Student Support Program in July 2015. Read the unabridged version here.
“I wonder if my hair looks alright. Wait, did he just look over at me? I should have worn my other skirt to the seminar today, how could I possibly have forgotten? Did he just glance over at me again!?”
I’m not sure about you all, but I will be the first to admit that in the past I have asked myself these questions during a church function. I glance over to see if I can make eye contact with my friends, when instead I should be paying attention to the sermon during conference. I look down to make sure my new heels are spotless, when instead I should be caring less about my appearance and more about what work needs to be done during this YIA tour.
We are constantly bombarded with distractions that redirect our focus from our true purpose during these spiritual ventures to things we selfishly worry about day in and day out.
Distractions in Our Opportunities
What happens when we stop thinking about the needs of others at the soup kitchen during YIA and keep thinking about that cute boy you just met from another branch? What happens if we shop endlessly the week before for the latest outfit in order to impress at conference instead of preparing ourselves to receive what God may want to communicate to us?
In these cases, we can be dangerously close to hindering the Lord from truly speaking to us or using us, especially when we venture out to serve Him. Other times, we may feel consumed by other problems and distractions that we may be forced to deal with, such as issues with our friends, family, significant others, work, school, and the list goes on and on.
What we need to realize is that God wants us to be FREE.
John 16:33 says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” We will have distractions and tribulations, but we will rest assured that Christ has already won the victory for us! In other words, we don’t need to worry about how we dress, who we see, or what problems we may have; all we need to do is focus on what we were sent to do on our spiritual adventures.
If you are at a camp seminar, participate! If you are painting a shed during YIA, whistle a hymn while you work! If you are to be a guide to children at VBS, ask God to help you enlighten such beautiful young souls!
It can be difficult to leave all your distractions behind, but we need to confront those things that bind us and deal with them. The Lord may even inspire the teachers during an event or seminar to give you the guidance and knowledge on how to remove those time-consuming distractions, so that we may proclaim that we are truly FREE. The victory has already been won; it is just there for us to seize it and be courageous! Let’s be brave enough to step out of our comfort zones and make the most of our spiritual voyages!
For those of you who may be attending campout, VBSs, YIAs, conferences etc., I suggest we prepare for what the Lord may have in store for us. If there is a theme to the conference or campout, we should research and think on it. If we plan on helping at VBS or YIA, be prepared to work hard that week and receive a blessing! No matter where we are or what amazing opportunity we’re participating in through the church, we must remember that we are free because Jesus has died and resurrected for each one of us.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.