Last week, I had the opportunity to gather with 44,000 other college-age young adults in the Georgia Dome for Passion 2012.
For 4 days we gathered together to worship God and lift high the name of Jesus. We became aware of the 27 million people still trapped in slavery today, and joined together to Do Something Now about it. We heard speakers, met people from across the US and other countries, and shared with others what God was doing in our lives.
A thousand thoughts come to mind when asked what Passion was like. I don’t even know where to start. I loved taking part in something totally bigger than myself. It was amazing and incredible!! To God be the glory!
Each day started bright and early, with several main sessions in the Dome, community groups in the morning and evening, and short breaks to grab something to eat for lunch & supper. The first two nights, which were closed with the David Crowder band and Hillsong United, were fantastic!
Community groups were some of the best times during the week. When we met, we discussed Scripture, the main sessions, and what God was teaching us through it all. Everyone was given a colored wristband, and depending on the color, we were divided into one of 19 community groups. My group was Burgundy (also called Crimson, Dr. Pepper, and the Burg). We were further divided up into groups of eight, which became our ‘family’ group for the remainder of the week. I was blessed to share with and learn from an incredible group of people during that time.
Another of my favorite things from Passion was having conversations with friends when we walked back and forth to different buildings and when we stood outside waiting to enter the Dome. We talked about the Bible, Jesus, and how everything learned at Passion applies to life after we left Atlanta back to home or the dorms. I am so thankful for friends who are also committed to following Christ and are willing to keep me accountable.
By far the best thing about Passion is: JESUS! After coming back home last week, our church group gathered Friday night to share about the week in Georgia. It was amazing to hear about how God answered so many prayers throughout the week, and how he worked in the lives of others to bring about change.
What Passion has opened my eyes up to is how easily I live my life day to day, just getting by, not really being dependent on God or daily putting my faith in Him. I find myself being ok with the status quo, but not moving forward or growing. And I don’t want to be that way! I don’t want to complacent or only care about my faith when it comes to something big like Passion or a revival service.
It’s easy to talk about surrendering everything to God, but even harder to put it into practice. For me, what surrendering to God looks like in my life is putting Him first, especially in the small things. It means taking time to read my Bible first, rather than the book I just got from the library. It means going to God in prayer before logging into Facebook first thing in the morning. It means doing things like cleaning or helping out around the house with a good attitude. It means being cheerful at work, even when customers are rude. It means not wasting time playing Plants vs. Zombies while I should be cleaning my room or going to bed. It means talking to people about Jesus rather than minding my own business. Yes, I am guilty of all these things. And making changes is not going to be easy.
But is a thriving relationship with the Creator of the Universe and my Savior worth giving up what I want? I think yes. (I hope you’ll help keep me accountable.)
This is only one of the things God has made me painfully aware of in the past few weeks. I still have a long way to go before becoming the person God created me to be. I’m thankful that God will continue to grant me grace and forgiveness for every day.
Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”