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by Mackenzie Shaver on September 22, 2015
There are eighteen inches between the brain and the heart. So why does it seem like eighteen miles? So often what my mind knows to be true, my heart can’t seem to grasp. I knew in my mind the decision to do the Legacy Fellowship would be beneficial for me. My heart on the other hand, was seemingly unsettled.
Let’s pause. For those of you that do not know me, my name is Barrett Bass. I first worked at Sky Ranch as a counselor in the summer of 2014. I continued my journey with Sky Ranch last summer at Ute Trail in Colorado as the Dish Head and manager of the Phase III Work Crew Program.
I made the decision to do the Fellowship pretty late in the summer. When Jill offered me a position in the Fellowship, I felt rather uneasy. As I began to pray, I felt as if God remained silent. I desired desperately to have peace about my decision, but I had none. I found myself constantly saying, “God, I want to be obedient, but it’s hard when you do not tell me what you want. Just tell me please!” I wanted to know His will, which isn’t a bad thing, but I think I wanted to know it selfishly. I was striving and striving for understanding, thinking that if I only understood, I would have peace. But that’s just it, I was striving too hard when striving was not the answer at all. The only answer was surrender, and surrender can happen wherever I go in life. Philippians 4:7 states, “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Wouldn’t that then imply that if I want to receive that peace, I have to give up the right to understand? This is why my mind and heart were seemingly disconnected; I was equating peace with understanding. But what I had to realize is that though my mind will not always understand, my heart can always have peace. Why? Because Jesus lives in me. Peace is always available to those who are in Christ, and it is peace that functions not to lead, but to guard your heart and mind.
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” The trust in my heart is not a product of my understanding. If it were, then this verse would not make sense. Proverbs 3:6 says, “in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” I have found that acknowledging God in all your ways is one of the most difficult things to do, but also one of the most important. I saw this firsthand as I cleaned dishes all summer up in Colorado. If each dish that I cleaned represented a task in life, how many tasks did I complete with the presence of God in mind? Not enough. Our days are filled with many “tasks” or “to-dos”. So often we get caught up in the task at hand completely forgetting about the presence of God in that moment. We forget to acknowledge Him in all of our ways. Though His presence in our life never changes, our awareness to His presence changes. I would venture to say, that our awareness to His presence usually changes because our focus is solely on completing the task at hand. We must complete tasks in life everyday, but we must look to Jesus before we look at our task.
For me, one of the big “to-dos” at the end of the summer was making a decision about whether to join the Fellowship or not. I found that my focus was easily shifted. My eyes were set on the outcome of my decision-making rather than on Jesus. Here’s the thing, I do not think Jesus was as concerned with the outcome of my decision-making as He was with the process. I believe this will also be true for me in this year of the Legacy Fellowship. He is more concerned with the process than the outcome. My heart and mind seem to be more connected when I remember that Jesus is with me in the process of doing a task.
If there is one truth that has continually comforted me since moving to Van a month ago it is this: Though my direction in life will constantly change, my way will remain the same. My way is Jesus. This I understand in my mind, believe in my heart, and feel guarded by the peace that follows.
Please pray for me and for the thirteen other fellows this year. May we never forget that God is with us.
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