By Nate Livesay | Director of Advocacy
Almost exactly one year ago, I started a journey that would change the course of my life. I traveled to Ethiopia on a Journey 117 trip, and God revealed a life-altering truth to me: I need to stop wasting my life making mud pies. You read that right; I spent two weeks in Africa, and the most important lesson I learned was that I needed to stop playing in the mud.
C.S. Lewis once wrote:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
God revealed that this was me, and I was floored. This was 100% news to me. You see, I considered myself the opposite of virtually everything is this statement. I am passionate, not half-hearted. I am intelligent, not ignorant. And I certainly am not the kind of guy who turns down time at the beach to play in the mud. Most importantly, I certainly was not too easily pleased by anything.
The problem was, I had been viewing my life and the world around me through my eyes only without ever pausing to consider what God saw when He looked at those same things. In the New Testament, Jesus makes it pretty clear that His Kingdom runs counter to the way that this world works. On the 9th floor of the Zebra Grill in downtown Addis Ababa, God opened my eyes to see the world in the way He saw it. I looked out the window and He broke my heart for what breaks His. When He did this, everything changed. All of the sudden I realized that I was consumed with my success and my selfish ambitions, and I was missing out on the life that He had planned for me.
So I stepped out in faith and began the process of joining the staff here at World Orphans. The past year has been a time of learning to see people as God sees them and learning to follow where God leads even when you can only see the next step and not the final destination. Honestly, it has been a time where I have been coming up with more questions than answers. Scriptures that I have read and heard over and over again are beginning to come to life in new ways, and I am still sorting out what it looks like to live my life as a true follower of Jesus.
Do I know what He wants me to do with the rest of my life? Not a chance, but I do know this – I am beginning to be able to imagine what His offer of a holiday at the sea might look like, and I will never go back to wasting my life playing in the mud again.