“And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.”
― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
When I read Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years it changed me forever. It showed me how I want to live my life: like it's a really good story. If I could boil down the message of the book into just one sentence it would be this: to live a really good story, you have to want something and then you have to go and get it.
I put this hypothesis to the test with our adoption journey and it came out strong and true on the other side. I wanted Arie and the journey to go and get him made a really good story. I've never felt so alive, so purposed, so fulfilled as I did when we were working to bring him home. Though it was impossibly hard at many points along the way, it was entirely meaningful and the richest experience of my life so far.
The Christian Alliance for Orphan's Summit this weekend reminded me of that in a powerful way. In the three or four weeks leading up to the summit I was starting to fall into that awful state of being called boredom. As I prayed to God and shared my heart, Psalm 27:14 kept coming to mind, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." I told John that I was expecting God to move in my heart at the summit and move He did.
|9+ hour drive. Trip up was nearly perfect. Trip back... was not. But still: worth it!|
|We've got some juice, some marker, some ground-in playdough and a little puke on our shirt here. Tie-dye.|
Being at the summit with two thousand other people was like being surrounded by two thousand really good stories. A Baptist church in Nashville hosted us and every space of that church from the sanctuary pews to the classroom lecterns was filled with a person who wanted something and then went and got it.
These were people who want Jesus and for his Kingdom to come. These are people who see so clearly that in God's kingdom, no child is an orphan. They are people who know that to participate in God's kingdom means to take of the orphan in her distress.
Jedd Medefind, the president of Christian Alliance for Orphans, said something truly valuable about participation in this kingdom: "For the Christian, love for the orphan doesn't rise merely from duty, guilt, or idealism. Rather, we are simply responding to the lavish love of the God who pursued us when we were destitute and alone." During the final general session Pastor David Platt echoed this same idea saying, "
|David Platt. My husband was in his glory, hearing him speak!|
|Jedd Medefind, president Christian Alliance for Orphans|
|Stealing our chips at lunch!|