This series is meant to be a reflection on my school year and life after the Denver Urban Semester. A chance to look at where God has been leading me through all of these amazing experiences that I’ve been so blessed to have as I’ve continued studying Urban Ministry at Sterling College.
REFLECTION #1 – Re-Entering Life
I craned my neck as I tried to look out the window as the wheels of the 32 person airplane set down on the black tarmac. After spending the morning on a plane I was more than happy to be back on the ground and moving through the terminal at Mid-Continental felt oddly like a homecoming. I couldn’t believe three months earlier I’d left Hutchinson KS by train, spent seven hours dehydrated in Ratone NM waiting for a bus. Spent two months in Denver CO and two weeks at home and was now returning to the very place God had called me two years earlier.
I greeted my brother in Christ who’d come to pick me up and as we walked out to his truck I knew it would be a good ride back. We cranked the music and I watched as the Kansas countryside I’d grown so accustomed greeted me once again with the end of summer colors.
It was safe to say I was seeing these plains differently, something radical had occurred inside me over the summer and I returned with a new perspective. I knew I wasn’t the same man I’d been when I arrived at Sterling, or even when I’d left three months ago. Something was different, something had changed, and something had been radically and defiantly transformed.
God had taken over…
It had been about two weeks since that last night in Denver, the night God told me to drop the Youth Ministry major and pursue Urban Ministry. I knew as soon as I stepped onto campus that would be something I would have to do, but there was another thing on my mind. “I want you to practice being quiet” Greg had challenged me as we parted company “I want you to live quietly.”
How could I do this? I was coming back to be a peer mentor to fifteen students. I thought I was going to be involved in the kids club program, and what about 10:31 Life Ministries and what about…
But the longer I sat, the more I thought about the quiet life the more I realized this semester was going to be extremely different. My re-entry was going to consist of a pulling out and for the first time in my life that was okay with me. Instead of getting involved in everything I got out of everything. By that I mean God transformed my priorities, I didn’t do kids club, I only had mentoring, 10:31 and school that was it.
Yet this was fine with me, I had no problem with this, for once I didn’t mind not being busy.
To say Re-entry was easy would be a false statement. Because when you’re not busy you have a lot of time to think and I tend to think a lot and in the past that kind of thinking has gotten me into trouble. But now God was teaching me really apply spiritual disciplines and build my faith around that. These disciplines I just finished writing about in my “Good Disciplines” series came to life and I found the more I applied them, the more I wanted them. The more of God I discovered in my quiet time, the more of Him I truly wanted, it was amazing.
I could no longer live the way I did, I wanted God and I wanted the things of God and that was all I wanted. No more validation from my peers for the things I’d done, no more wanting to be desired or desiring anyone else. For the first time in my life I can honestly tell you all I wanted was to be in the presence of my God and worship Him with my life.
I’m sure the people around me thought that I’d gone crazy, but it was and still is all I want. I really wanted to live like I claimed to believe, to be set apart for the gospel of Christ (1 Peter 2:9).
God had changed my priorities, just like He’d radically transformed me in Denver I knew my re-entry would be painful but it would also be a continuing of the good work that had started with a week of silence and gone on the rest of the summer.
Join me again in this journey of reflection, as the summer goes forward I pray that we can once again learn together by the grace of God. Walking hand in hand as brothers and sisters in Christ, as I shift from teaching back to the original intent of this blog, I pray you will laugh and cry with me and learn from what God has been teaching me.
God Bless You
Jonathan David Faulkner
10:31 Life Ministries
“Who is the Man who Fears the Lord
Him will He instruct in the way he should go.”