Bob Goff spoke at Lost Canyon's Men's Weekend Retreat. I've never wanted to be a boy that bad before. Haha. Here we gooooo!
Chapter 2: "Sniper Fire"
Ok, Bob Goff is nuts. The story he tells here is about how his friend Doug shot him with a BB gun in high school. I think it's a little bit of a stretch in how he relates it to his point for the chapter, but hey, if I'd gotten shot by a BB gun in high school, I would totally include it in any book I wrote.
I think mostly Bob uses the story to introduce his friend Doug. Doug was the first person to really tell Bob about Jesus, and he radically reorganized Bob's ideas about religion and Christianity. Bob says, "All I knew of faith [before talking to Doug] were fragments and shards of various traditions, but I hadn't ever heard the whole story about who Jesus was and what He wanted the world to know about Him" (p. 13). So Doug told him the story. Doug introduced Bob to Jesus, the One who is (or should be if He isn't) the foundation of all those "various traditions." But Bob also says, that more than anything else, what attracted him to what Doug had to say was who Doug was as a person. Isn't that the way it goes? In Young Life, a huge emphasis is earning the right to be heard with the kids we meet. I love this because it's such a valid point. Who's going to listen to me if I just go up to them and start telling them about this great way to live life and this awesome dude, Jesus? Maybe some people, but the majority of people will just think I'm crazy and avoid me like I avoid the GreenPeace reps on campus. When people see Christ in my life and then hear what I have to say (the message God provides me with), that is so much more powerful! It's like in education, teachers try to incorporate multiple senses in lessons because students learn more effectively that way. So if I'm reaching out, and people see and hear about God's love, it's a double-whammy. And it's pretty radical.
Bob follows this point up, saying, "God is constantly inviting [us] into a life that moves away from typical" (p. 15). You know what, I love that. After all, who really wants to live a mediocre, typical life? I want to do extraordinary things. And God opens those doorways for me - in fact, I'm seeing Him open them right now in my life. God gives each of us amazing and unique gifts, but it's up to us to figure out what they are and then go and use them. Like what if you got this great car but chose not to drive it? Makes no sense to me. I'd drive it all over! God doesn't force us to use our gifts or to venture out into an atypical life, but He does invite us to step out in faith.
Maybe this is weird, but hang with me, and just do it. Pretend you're sitting in a coffee shop, and God's sitting across from you. I don't know what He looks like. Whatever. But imagine Him sitting on the edge of His seat and being really excited, and saying, "[insert your name here], I have the BEST idea. You know those gifts I gave you? I know JUST how you can use them. It's gonna be great. And it might get kind of crazy, but stick it out. It'll be so worth it. Just keep your eyes peeled - opportunities are going to start rolling your way. I'm stoked to see what you do!"
That's how I picture God inviting us to diverge from typical. To have faith that He will 1) provide opportunities and 2) help us make it through.
So let's ask ourselves: What are my gifts? How can I use them? How am I radiating God's love to those around me? How am I earning the right to be heard? Lots of things to think about, but it's exciting! Let's be atypical this week :)
Peace and blessings, y'all!