(Originally posted on our former blog site on 3/3/2014)
It has been said that “if you set yourself on fire, the world will come to watch you burn.” If you’ve been to San Francisco you will realize that this is so true, and it takes much… MUCH… less to cause people to stop and take notice.
Last summer I had the privilege of mentoring a young girl for an entire month on purity. We had met a few times for picnics, walks, and such but I decided that our last talk should take place on a train to San Fran. We would talk, shop, walk (I only add that because it rhymes- and there was a lot of it) and admire the beauty that is the ocean- it would be a great day I was sure of it.
Once we had arrived we set our sights on Pier 39. After getting some delicious donuts, window shopping in some of the cutest shops, getting utterly creeped out by a store filled with everything made from alpaca hair... ALPACA HAIR... and being unable to find a place to admire the ocean view due to our untimely visit during the AmericaCup- we found ourselves in front of that little stage. I am sure you know the one. There have been many a performers to grace it and that day was no exception.
Standing near the back we attempted to blend in with the background so as to not make a fuss if we decided to move on. And of course this plan failed horrendously when the performer set eyes on this lovely girl I had brought and drew everyone’s attention as he instructed us to sit in the front row. So we did. We sat there.
It wasn’t what we wanted but to not cause a commotion we did it.
And that is when I failed her as a mentor.
Not too long into the act our now new dear friend the performer decided to marry this young girl off to the gentleman on her left. And I want to stress that I am using the term "gentleman" very loosely here.
The only thing I could think was- oh, great. Her parents entrusted me to talk with her about purity and my genius brain takes her to San Fran and gets her married in one day. It was incredibly awkward watching the man beside her enter into a forced proposal (of course I am sure he wasn’t completely unwilling) and at the first opportunity of attention diverted, I grabbed her hand and whispered “run, and don’t look back”.
So we did. We ran.
This past weekend I had the honor of celebrating this beautiful girl’s “rite of passage” (which is a bit like a Jewish bat mitzvah) and this memory flooded my mind. I could feel myself smiling ear to ear recalling all that had happened that day. And in my one last opportunity to impart as much as I could to her, I left her with what I want to leave you all with today-
Run. Run, and don’t look back.
It is not only God who has a plan for your life; the world has one too.
Often times we find ourselves in situations when we sit down so-to-speak, not because we want to but because we know we would ruffle a few feathers if we decided not to. The world imposes its will on us and to keep the peace we do exactly as they say. We follow the story they’ve written out for us to the “T”. We don’t just tolerate, we celebrate things that don’t align with God’s word because it is just plain easier. We don’t want to stand out; we just want to be accepted, so we sit down. We bow to culture, media, and the overwhelming desire to be liked and in that moment the world’s plan wins.
The bible instructs us on our desire to be liked- it says sometimes we won’t be. And unfortunately it feels like most times we aren't. I don’t like that at all! I want people to like me. We all do.
But if we are looking to this world for its acceptance we will be utterly disappointed.
Following the world’s plan will be fun for a season, maybe even a few seasons, but I can guarantee you that it will not turn out well for you. I have watched so many girls get swept away in it all only to find them years down the road lost and confused. Just think of it like the island on Pinocchio. It looks like fun. And it is… until it’s not. Until everything that was promised- love and acceptance- turns out to be a horrid conditional imitation of the real thing.
So run girls. Run and don’t look back.
Seek God for His plan for your life. There is so much more in you than what even you can imagine. And it is far better than the "plan b" this world has to offer.
2 Timothy 2:22-26 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
Galatians 1:10 Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah).