7th inning stretch: Greater than 160 characters

It was as simple as including the hashtag #GoDbacks, and my own unique one pleading #Putmeonthejumbotron. I was sitting on the bleachers of Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona at my last Diamondbacks game of the summer. My brother had his baseball glove in hand, ready to catch a fly ball from the players during their pre-game batting practice. I was distracted from the possibility of getting knocked in the head and had my eyes fixed on the big screen to see if my tweet would be displayed for all to see. Sure enough, not two minutes later, I saw my seemingly witty tweet up on the Jumbotron along with my profile picture.

I like to call this my fifteen seconds of fame. The truth is, it was really only about seven or eight seconds. I was not the recipient of an autographed bobblehead or a http://www.freecreditscore.com/ T-shirt. The mere fact that my face was on the largest Jumbotron in professional sports, and knowing that thousands of people were reading what I had written in 96 characters, was exhilarating enough.

Now you might be thinking, “Wow, good for you, but how does this relate to me?” It has been my observation, after being at Moody Spokane as a freshman and then transferring here last year, that many of us come into a place like this wanting to make an identity for ourselves. This identity can be based upon who we hang out with, what ministries we are involved in, what church we attend, or even what our major is. It can be tempting to serve in every manner possible in the hopes of trying to find a calling or a passion. In other words, our initial desire to “be the hands and feet of Jesus” can supersede the very purpose of what we are doing. If we aren’t careful, it will become more about us, and not about serving our Savior. Our “fifteen seconds of fame,” whatever that may look like, can consume us, and the very act of service, outreach, or ministry can become a dangerous idol.

The truth is, we all come here with unique and diverse backgrounds, and with some of the most compelling testimonies of how God rescued us from death unto life. Our relationships with the Father are as individual as we are. I want to encourage all of you, especially freshman, to take a moment and realize that it’s not your ministry, your major, or even the fact that you are a Moody student that defines you, but Christ alone.

It’s exciting to come to downtown Chicago and be surrounded with countless ministry opportunities. My heart for all of you here is that you would not let it overwhelm you, that you would not feel like your identity is a condensed “160 character” display of what it is you do for God, and that you would find rest in the peace that God gladly offers and in who He has made you to be.

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