Ponders and Travels to Alaska

Tomorrow we head to the Alaskan Bush where we will be off the grid for two weeks! So, I thought I would share something I wrote on the plane to Alaska yesterday! Enjoy! Peace out for two weeks! -gb

alaska

Sometimes you plan to go to the beach and find yourself on a plane to Alaska a week later. I’ve never been one to question the ways of God or why He does or does not do certain things. I usually take what I get and go from there. But this time, holy cow what am I doing?

This story starts a few months ago, in Nashville, with the dreaded question every soon-to-be college graduate is asked, “What are your plans after graduation?”
Truth is I’d like to do a lot of things. I’ve never liked the whole pick a major and pursue one career for your whole life thing. In fact, most people I know that have graduated college never end up in their area of study anyhow. Not wanting that to happen to me, I chose to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Music Business. If I was going to pursue the rockstar dream, I wanted a piece of paper proving that I was, in fact, a rockstar. Smart.

While obtaining my degree, I fell in love with so many other things besides songwriting and producing music. I was a part of filmmaking, acting, live entertainment, comedy, fellowship, discipleship, leadership, mentorship, tv production, video editing, news reporting, hosting a talk show, the list could literally continue for the rest of the page. It became apparent to me that my love for music was great and will be a definite part of my life, but I will also be involved in so many other opportunities and not be confined by one career…hopefully.

There has always been a desire in my heart to step out. I hate the norm. Like, I HATE the norm. The most annoying thing to me in the world is the part of every superhero’s back story where the hero complains about having super powers and says that all they want is to just be normal.
And I’m like,
“AHHH are you FRIGGIN SERIOUS?!?! You can FLY you IDIOT!!
Why in the world would you want to be NORMAL!??”

I never understood that part of their character development. Now of course we all know they grow out of it, accept their calling and take their place as the savior’s of their prospective fictional worlds and become the beacons of hope that we look to as kids, but I’m still confused by this part in their background.
Why would you want to get rid of something so special? A gift so rare?

Being a hero. Stepping out. It takes faith. It takes courage. It takes a sacrifice.

We all have talents. For some it’s public speaking, others it’s writing. Some people are really good at cutting people open and removing an organ, others are good at crunching the numbers. And some just really like taking out the garbage, like, ALL the way out. Talents are something that we cannot choose to have, we are born with them. Some talents are more obvious than others and some people have more than one talent, but it’s not the amount to talent you have, it’s what you DO with your talent that determines your success and what kind of person you are going to be.

There is something else I’d like to mention that is slightly different than a talent. A gift. A gift looks a lot like a talent but has a slight difference. A gift is also something that you cannot choose to have, it is given to you, hence the name. But here is the slight difference between a talent and a gift; you can sharpen your talent with practice and become better at your skill, but a gift is something you cannot perfect. A gift is not a skill that YOU yourself can achieve a higher level of greatness; it is 100% divinely appointed upon you.

(I may continue on the comparing of talents and gifts in a latter blog after I conduct more research on the topic,) but here is why I mention it.

You can feel burdened by your talent. Forced even to go into a field of study or a career that you don’t enjoy just because your talented in it. Also, just because you’re talented in something doesn’t mean that is what defines WHO you are. Are you a football player? Or are you Joe, a pretty nice guy with a warrior’s heart for God who just happens to play football?

I was at a Chili’s recently with some college-age church folk whom I barely know and in the spirit of making first impression awkward I started to ask them some questions.
Without ever formally meeting them, I pointed to one of the two girls sitting across from me and said,
“Hey, who are you?”
She looked confused, startled even, and didn’t know how to answer. So she paused and then replied with her name.
I said with a smirk, “You told me your name, but you didn’t answer my question. WHO are you? Tell me who you are.”
She again looked at me confused and gave out a giggle of laughter to her friend next to her and shrugged an “I don’t know, I’m just (her name).”
“And who is that?” I asked.
“I work at a….” she replied
I said, “No, no, no, I don’t want to know what you do for a living, I wanna know who you are.”
After a long pause and a confused smile, “Well maybe I just don’t know who I am,” she finally replied.

There it was. She couldn’t tell me who she was without thinking of what she does. Somewhere we connect what we do, what our job is to the definition of WHO we ARE. I don’t believe this to be a healthy correlation, at least in the career aspect of our lives. Just because I work at McDonald’s to pay the bills doesn’t permanently define me as Greg, the burger flipper for the rest of my life.

So how do we define who we are?

The bible says we are heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven and defines the gifting bestowed on us like this:

“He [Christ] was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own [domain], and His own [people] did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God.” JOHN 1:10-13 NKJV

Notice that being born of God and not of the flesh of a man is not considered a talent, but a gift from God. We cannot lose a gift. It is permanent. It is forever. We don’t have to sharpen the gift or make it better than it already is. We have nothing to do with the gift being given, the only choice we can make is to accept the gift or deny the gift, just as is stated in the first part of the passage.
We can choose to know Christ and accept His gift to become children of God, or we can choose not to know Him, and deny the gift.

Right now, I’m on a plane to Alaska merely hours after God opened up a door. A very slim door I might add where most of the time I thought that it wasn’t actually going to happen but I chose to accept this gift and follow where it leads. Right now, it’s leading me to one of the most remote parts of the United States, a place I have been before, but this time seems different. I was not supposed to be on this trip and it is a miracle that I am even sitting here writing this blog (a full story that I will also have to save for a later blog post).

I believe God’s gift is for everyone. Along with His gift of life and inheritance, He has also provided us with talents. Talents you can choose to sharpen or ignore. When God calls, I want to be ready, much like this trip. My plan for “What are you going to do after graduation?” was completely rocked by God’s plan. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I had it all planned out; the next three years of my life actually, all to be turned upside down by a gift from God. A gift of adventure, faith and the unknown, on His timing and not mine.
I don’t want to be normal! I don’t want to be safe! I want to run face first into the plans that God has for me.

I have no idea what is in store for me on this trip or the days to follow or what job or career God has me going into first, but I do know that God provides and “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…”(Eph 3:20).

I’m ready. I’m willing. Let the normalcy shy away and bring on the rare and the unknown.

Take a risk on God. Ask Him to challenge you. Accept the gift of your inheritance of the Kingdom, and watch what happens. You may just find out who you are.

 

gb

3 Replies to “Ponders and Travels to Alaska”

  1. I cried while I was reading this. I know this is so true and it was a true miracle for you to be on this trip. Why? because God wants you there for a reason. And to teach everyone who reads this that God is still real and he cares about us, We have to be willing to do His will and be ready for whatever may come. Expect great things. Your verse Eph 3:20 is one of my favorite and I pray that verse now in all of our lives. Love you so much and we are very proud of what God is doing in your life and your willingness to let God do what He is doing. what ever that is and you will know as is comes to you at the right moment, never too soon and never late, He is right on time.
    Love you so much, Mom. (Sandy Burgess)

  2. I love the part about Eph 3:20…Sometimes I feel like God is like Aladdin when He asks Jasmine, “Do you trust me?” and its just the beginning of this crazy adventure… Love it!! He is so good, and He’s not done with you. I am excited to see where God takes you next!!! See you at Thanksgiving! 😛

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