Monday, August 17, 2009

Survivally Challenged

So I made it through the week at Soul Survivor. The weather was great, thanks. We had one night of rain and that was about it.

A few things stood out, mainly from one of the nightly talks by Ants Watts, a New Zealander linked to Soul Survivor in NZ. He said:

I was always told that you don't have to like people as long as you love them, but actually I think you have to love them until you like them.

We are very good at creating ways of loving people - mechanisms for loving people - we can drop food off at the food bank, and we can give items to the thrift store, and we can sponsor a child on the other side of the world. And those are good things to do. But the problem with them if that is all we do, is that we can show that we love people, and people can have their needs met, but neither of us are transformed by it.

Lots of people are trying to be 'somebody'. Lots of Christians are trying to be 'somebodies' - trying to get on the platform, to lead the worship, to do a CD, to get their book out. But do you have what it takes to be a 'nobody' for Christ? To say 'this isn't about me'?

These are how I remember him saying those things. They aren't verbatim quotes. The third one in particular struck me. I had been in a seminar given by a 33 year-old theology graduate who already had three books published and was doing seminars to a packed out room. It made me think 'Where did I go wrong'. And then I thought 'Hang on...'

On the last night I made someone cry because I asked them to just clarify a throwaway remark they'd said earlier in the week that had rested heavy on me. It turned out I identified a real hurt that needed healing. But most importantly, they needed to know that someone understood, that someone cared, that someone loved. I wouldn't have been in that first conversation if I had been a 'somebody', let alone had the opportunity to be in the second.


  1. Hey, found this blog through googling Ants Watts - I was at SS week C and he was great there too. Good comment on being a somebody/nobody from you - aren't those 'nobody' moments what it's really all about?

  2. Yeah I think so. The most meaningful things are the things we could so easily miss if we're not careful.