“If your life could be an attraction at a theme park what would it be?”
Growing up with a dad who tricked me to get on my first loop de loop roller coaster at the age of 10, amusement parks have been a staple in my life. We have experienced Universal Studios, Cedar Point, Six Flags, etc. but in all my trips never did I compare myself to an attraction at a theme park until February 17, 2016 when Mr. Chan Sheppard began PTM staff meeting with this question.
The responses were varied. There was everywhere from ‘huh, what, seriously’, to people deeply examining their life. My answer came to me immediately in a way that I knew had to be the Lord working in His crazy way to reveal His truth in my life.
You know, when buckets and guns and handfuls of slime would get thrown on people in just about every 90s Nickelodeon TV show. It usually went down like this. People would wait in line hours upon hours to get on the stage to be a participant, fully aware slime would be involved. They would get on the stage and buckets and buckets of slime would pour on their head, people would jump out and shoot them with slime, there would be slime throwing wars, rivers of slime.
There was a very clear progression of people’s response to this slime. First, they would be thrilled so ecstatic that they’ve finally been slimed, they waited hours for this moment (but it’s still pretty gross). Second, they would realize how messy the slime was. Everyone would keep throwing slime and pouring slime on them. It got in their glasses, their mouth, their eyes, everywhere. So they became a little frustrated and upset. Finally, they remembered they signed up to do this. They wanted to be in the slime and in the mess, they wanted to participate no matter how gross! The participants then reentered the slime with more excitement than before, ready to commit despite the mess.
Slime is the perfect, strange image of ministry to me. We wait and we wait as God prepares our hearts to enter into ministry so excited to serve Him. Finally He declares, “Daughter, it is your time”. You enter ministry so psyched to see how the Lord will move, how He will use you and to enter the messy brokenness. But then the mess starts truly hitting you. From the right and from the left you are witnessing pictures of how fallen this world truly is. You have to call DCS one day and the next you hear a shooting across the street.
The messiness of bringing light to a broken, sinful world keeps hitting you from every angle. You get a little angry at it all. Things keep hitting you and tugging on your heart and making you weep over the broken mess this world is. But then you remember God’s calling. He anointed you for this place and this time. He called you into this mess. You were written in to His plan and signed up for this experience long before you even knew. You remember how much you wanted to be in the mess and the answered prayer it is to be here. You see how God is using you to bring His Gospel, His light, His perfection, His love, His purity into the mess. Once your sights are set on His sovereignty, you are rejuvenated to dive back in, head first into the brokenness.