Friday, February 15, 2013

Preschool World

You know why I love working at a preschool? I mean other then the ridiculously cute kids with foreign accents and incredible story material? I love it because it's a constant reminder to just play. When you are at a preschool, the playground is not just a playground, it's a fort, a ship, a plane, a soccer field with thousands of fans in the stadium watching you score the winning goal. Nothing is as it seems.

And as I punch my time card and walk out of the preschool for the day it sticks with me for a bit. Sidewalks become runways, planks to walk on pirate ships, or the yellow brick road leading to the lollipop kids. The academic buildings I walk by everyday becomes headquarters for spies and secretive operations. And the airplanes are carrying secret messages of grave importance. The world becomes exciting in every way shape and form. That is why I love working at a preschool, because it reminds me that the world and life is exciting, full of opportunities, full of ways to adventure and be inspired.

As that imagination begins to fade away and the everyday life begins to settle in and the routine takes its place, all i need to do is look at the people in the world. Because I know that they too were once inspired to become a conquistador by a single twig. People show me that this world is still exciting as an adult, because when my imagination fails to fill in the adventure, people step up. I get to discover others, to explore the terrain of hearts around me, and to learn about how someone else thinks. We get to serve the world and those in it. You'd be surprised how much adventure, and excitement is in that simple life choice.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Same Rules, New Meaning

So, I've been a part of this program called BGR (Boiler Gold Rush) for my entire college career (literally since day one). But this year in particular I have been incredibly involved in it and have... well,  one could say, come to breathe BGR.

Something I've been learning lately, is how to live my faith out in a place where it's not the main focus. You know, how do you stand up for something you believe in when it's not common? How do you love those around you, but not take part in all that they are doing? How do you spread God's love to those who don't believe in God? How do you serve God in places where it's not the obvious choice? Like in school, in sports, in the workplace, with friends who aren't believers. Then it hit me, God brings depth and meaning to our lives, to every part of it. He says love and then He takes you life and turns it upside down teaching you how He loves you. He tells us to be humble, and then shows you how to have the strength and confidence in who you are and who He is to do that. He says to serve the poor, and then shows you how much the poor really has and how they end up serving you. He takes the dying weed, uproots it entirely and then replants it to bring about a flower. That's what He does. We offer Him the shallow and He says, "I want everything." But then if God brings depth to the existing order of things, why do I go into these places where God's "rules" for living don't fit and assume that I have a completely different agenda, a different purpose, a different meaning then everything they're doing?

You see God uses things in this world as a conduit for His glory. He uses terms like humility, bravery, courage, love, mercy, and forgiveness to show us where He is and the world has their own definition for these terms. Well, so often I think that when I am serving God, I am bringing a new definition to the world, that I am bringing an answer that is different and right. Oh man, if only I knew earlier, that God is not telling me to "bring" the right defintion, but simply to find the depth in the old meaning, to find Him where the world is already living.

God calls us to go somewhere, see what they live for and then show to them that it is already pointing towards Him! He is adding depth where there is shallowness. He is adding meaning, where there is hopeless struggling. He doesn't tell us to create new rules, but to love through those that already exist. BGR has a passion for Purdue, for making sure that their new students are welcomed and feel comfortable and safe. I have gone into BGR loving all the things that it loves and have found that I am called to pull those exact things deeper and further. To love those in the program for who they are. Who they are beyond all the crap, beyond all the make believe and the pretend, beyond all the judgments and stereotypes. I have been called to love them in their anguish and to love them when they have done nothing to deserve or earn it. And that is me serving God in a place where people don't believe in Him.