A Random Update on GCSC Happenings and Goings On, BIG and small

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were a big thing.”–Robert Brault

Most of us spend our lives in a whirlwind of activity. Gotta go here, gotta do this, see those people, do that project, send that email. The modern life is hectic, busy, and inherently noisy. So noisy, in fact, that a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization estimates that 1.6 million years of healthy living are lost every year in Europe alone due to noise pollution. If you’re like me, you read that and you’re not sure what to do with it. The fact is, our world is so noisy and busy that we are literally killing ourselves. And the thing is, we know it. We give it away every time we say something like, “This project/job/whatever is killing me.”

The result of this is that many of us, including and maybe especially Christians, are stressed and distracted. We wonder why we’re here and what it all means. Is it any wonder that one of God’s most frequent commands in the OT is to take a Sabbath, a day without work? He’s so serious about it that, in one place, he tells the Israelites to KILL those who don’t honor it.

Exodus 31:14
“‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people.”

Does that shock anyone else? God says to KILL someone who doesn’t stop working. Yikes. Why? Well, if you look back at what the Israelites did before they were set free from the Egyptians, you might understand. All they did was make bricks. Bricks, bricks, bricks, bricks, and….bricks. That’s it. For hundreds of years. But the word Sabbath basically means STOP. Maybe God understood something we don’t, that you can be alive and already be dead. That you can become a machine while trying to figure out life as a human. That sometimes stopping means asking, “Why?” And in that place, God might invite you to become human again.

With that in mind, I started to look back over what the GCSC has been doing this school year. One of the hard things about Sabbath is that it forces you to slow down. You have to pause, reflect, and ask questions of your life. Why am I doing what I’m doing? Where is this headed?

Let’s face it. Many of us act like we’re God. We would say we didn’t believe it, but FUNCTIONALLY we live as if everything depended on us and the importance of what we are doing. We have to run/save/conquer the world. On the other hand, some of us behave as if there’s nothing we can do to change the world at all. Life is hard, might as well take it easy. After all, who ACTUALLY thinks WE can make a difference? Both views are unhealthy. Both are dangerous. And both are focused on us.

That’s the thing about Sabbath, about slowing down. Lazy people don’t want it to end. Busy people don’t want it to start.

But maybe the point of Sabbath is not us. Maybe it’s a call to stop and look around at what God is doing. At what REALLY is important.

At the GCSC the past couple of years, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about that place where we both rest in what God is doing to change the world (after all, if this is up to us, we’re all in trouble) and joining God in what He is doing. To take time to slow down and ask, “Is what we’re doing part of God’s restorative work, or just more noise in an already noisy world?” One of the ways we started doing this is by using our Coffee Houses/Open Mic Nights as a forum for a redemptive cause in the world. It’s been quite a journey. We’ve raised money for a Rwandan coffee farmer, a kids program working in the inner city of Birmingham, and gave 70 plus coats to men and women in our own community who needed warmth during the winter months.

This year, we decided to focus on one big issue. Water. 1 BILLION (that’s right, BILLION) people don’t have access to clean drinking water. That’s 1 in 6 people on the earth. If we solved this one problem, 2 million lives could be saved every year. That’s a big problem. But we serve a big God.

So, among our normal devotionals, small groups, and other activities, The GCSC set out to sponsor a woman in a village working with a clean water project. Working with an organization called Neverthirst, a clean water nonprofit that works through local churches in areas that need access to clean drinking water, the cost ended up being about 400 dollars. That’s a lot for the ramen noodle crowd. But surprisingly, it was laughably easy. And thanks to a few college students who slowed down and asked some questions, lives will be saved. Below are the pictures sent to us by Neverthirst, among them are pictures of our new friend Peyo and her fellow workers. Through this, we are praying that the local church will be able to share Jesus with Peyo and her entire village!

I suppose there are a lot of other things we could tell you about what’s going on at the GCSC, but this one thing is really at the heart of our year so far. The picture at the top of this post is from our Christmas Coffee House where we raised the last bit of money needed for Peyo. On top of that, we decided to take our normal Christmas “dirty Santa” gift exchange and change it up as well. Instead of spending 10 dollars on a gift none of us really need, we brought items we already had and gave the pooled the money we would have spent to go toward sponsoring another woman through Neverthirst. We also encouraged students to buy gifts through organizations that help others in the world. Here’s the thing: THIS WAS FUN! Having fun and making a difference aren’t mutually exclusive. That’s the joy of the Kingdom of God breaking into the world! Furthermore, Goodwill got rid of more than a few ugly sweaters we bought from them!

In short (and yes, I realize the irony of using that phrase for such a long post), the GCSC is just a small group. Almost nothing in terms of size and world influence. But that’s not what Jesus said would change the world:

Mark 4:30-32
“Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade” 
 
 

Apparently, its not the big things that change the world. It’s the small. It’s not the powerful who command who move mountains. It’s those who have faith enough to serve others.

The quote at the start of this post puts it well. Stop……Enjoy the little things……Miracles may be sprouting up right in front of you. Join the party. 

Grace and Peace,

 

Adam Daniels
Campus Minister
Georgia Christian Student Center

 

 

 

 

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