I walked into the Young Adult weekend a day late and missed out on 'the blurb' - I had no idea what it was about. To be fair, I was well versed in YA weekends - I’d been to one, then a second, and a third, then ended up being called onto a year of mission on one. Did I have expectations for this weekend? Many. Were they Jesus oriented? Nup. I wasn’t in the mood for learning new things. My exams and the 5hr drive from Bundaberg were still refracting off my retina, and I was so ready to relax into one fine weekend away in the hinterlands with my people, sprinkled with some sun bathed prayer.
But praise JESUS for not being content with our limitations, for defying expectations, and for never holding out on you. He mustn’t have been mad impressed with His sidekick status in my plans.
I didn’t realise it straight away, but when I drove into the Log Cabin that weekend, I had entered into holy ground, with a lot of holy people, who were going to ask me to be holy too, sometimes more frankly than I was used to.
And when I say frank, I mean like me sharing in small groups that the nature of my routine makes it hard to fit prayer in being responded to with a blunt “then change your routine” - no beats missed. Just a sure fired truth bullet to my heart.
If I could encapsulate the weekend in one snippet, it would be that moment. An incisive revelation slicing through spiritual snags. During a grand total of two days, bullets were aimed, fired, and lodged into my conscience, making me acknowledge the truth of what it means to be a disciple today, in the real world, as a young person who wants to be worthy of the life she is called to lead.
Jesus was definitely not content in being the cherry on the cake of my weekend, in fact I think He was pretty tired of being the cherry on top of my life in its current state. And He made it known to me through the theme that inspired the whole event, “Who do you say that I am?”. When we sit and think about who Jesus is to us, we’re challenged to own it, bear it, and have our being in Him. I couldn’t help but recognise the deep and peaceful change that settled when we all revisited the origin of our identity, and the truth of our purpose.
In retrospect, the best thing about the weekend was that the people who challenged me to be better, were also challenging themselves. They were leaders guiding us humbly by example. Maybe that’s what made it so special. I was being discipled by people who loved being disciples. There is nothing more encouraging than being encouraged by those who need it themselves. There’s nothing more empowering than being led into the heart of someone else’s actions. It’s inspiring, and if I left with anything this weekend it’s that having Jesus as the 'sidekick' in my life isn’t enough to change my life, and it sure as heck isn’t enough to inspire change in others. This is an all-in kind of game that we’re playing, and those kinds of stakes compel us to remember why we’re betting and what it’s all for.
For the record, sun-bathed prayer and relaxing with great people all did happen too. Jesus just decided to one-up me on this one, and surprisingly, it was a better plan than mine.
Guest Post: Jiwon Lah-Youn
Jiwon and her two little sisters have loved exploring their Catholic faith, passed down to them by their mother and grandmother. As a medical student, currently on prac in Bundaberg, Jiwon loves caring for others and has always wanted to be a doctor. Her faith journey has taken her on a year of mission with NET Ministries during 2016, to serve at Mazenod College in Melbourne. Serving as an Ignite Young Adult, Jiwon empowers young people in their discipleship to others.