A few days ago I made a post on social media that spoke to the idea of what being alive truly means. While we were traveling through Czech, Poland, and Slovakia on our most recent outing, I thought quite a bit about this.
In my post I said...
“We often speak of the difference between being alive and truly living. But at the end of the day, what does that mean? There has to be more to living than climbing mountains, running down empty roads, and following the latest fashion trends, right? To live is Christ.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love to hike, explore new places, and make sure my threads are sharp (blue jeans and a white t-shirt is pretty standard for me though). It’s just kind of funny how these are the things we tend to "like" and "double tap" the most on social media (or maybe that’s just me). I scroll through my Instagram feed and a majority of what I see are people standing on mountains or next to large bodies of water dressed in skinny jeans, designer boots, and wide brimmed hats. I understand...it’s for the community. Im sure it’s just a matter of time before I see a photo of someone standing on Mount Rainier in a pair of Clarks with their cardigan blowing in the wind and the caption saying something in regards to authentic living.
But before I take things too far I must confess, I have posted my fair share of blue steel and dramatic silhouette photos while summiting peaks and standing in the fog. I mean let’s be real. These kind of photos are pretty fun. And not just fun, they can be super inspiring. Constantly I question why I even pick up my camera after I see the things people are posting these days. The talent out there is just insane and the bar set for excellence is extremely high. What is even more inspiring though is how these kinds of things can bring people together. #communityfirst Instagram really nailed it on this one. The community that has been created through such a simple app is mind blowing. Whether you think it’s cheesy not, it’s true. I wasn’t so easily persuaded at first myself I’ll admit. For me it was a place to learn and grow in my photography skills and vainly accept whatever affirmation I could get. I quickly realized though that if I really wanted to grow further, I would need to start actually reaching out to the other artist that were so readily available around me. In doing so, I have made many friends and acquaintances that I never normally would have expected to have. Heck, I mean Jasen (my intern) wouldn't even be here if it wasn’t for Instagram.
"So where are you going with this Daniel?” Well because I am not the greatest writer and I don’t have a ton of time on my fingertips at the moment, I will keep it brief.
Authentic living is so much more than sharing with others the "live for the moment" adventures we take. It is so much more than “getting out there,” traveling, being spontaneous, and some of these other free spirited phrases that often inspire us.
When I think about my life here in the Czech Republic, ministry and missions, what it actually means to follow Christ as my Lord, Saviour, and King...when I think about truly living, the only thing I can respond with is asking myself…Is Christ my goal? Is everything a loss in comparison to knowing Christ? What is hindering me from knowing him, being known by Him, and pointing others in the same direction? Have I truly been willing to give up everything and cast off every weight? Do I humbly imitate Christ in all I do, or do I pridefully seek my own gain? Is every move I make aimed at advancing the knowledge, gospel, and church of Christ? Or, is it all about me underneath it all?
In all honesty, I know that I get in the way too much. And so do my tools. My phone, computer and camera are blessings that the Lord has graciously supplied. But I do not want to be defined solely as the media guy or the nice guy that travels and always has his phone and camera attached to his hip. I want to be known as a follower of Jesus Christ. When I stand before the Lord at His throne, what will He say? Will I be found in Him or still stuck on my phone?
True life is found only in Jesus Christ. And as our bibles tell us, “but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our sins, made us alive together with Christ.” Ephesians 2:4
Only through Jesus Christ can we truly be made ALIVE.
Here are a some quick snap shots from some since I last posted. We have been on the road again. Traveling to camp in Czech, Poland, and Slovakia. For the past week or so we have been resting at my apartment before going back to Ukraine to finish an intern documentary project with Josiah Venture and gather more testimonies from students and leaders at camp. We were a little delayed on our departure because my car was in the shop for a quick tune up. We are excited to depart today though and finish the summer strong. Thank you all for your prayers and support for my team and I this summer. God is good and may he receive the glory. We will be posting a majority of our work in September after Josiah Venture's fall conference. Can't wait to share more. Blessings!