Whoa…wow Mitchell, that is a strong and an intense way to start a blog… I’ll get to that in a sec, but to update you, I have been in Europe for about four days now and IT IS SO GOOD TO BE BACK!!! I am currently writing this up at the Josiah Venture hotel in the Czech Republic during a break at our intern training for the summer and it feels so normal to be here. I have missed seeing the missionaries here and I am SO pumped to head on over to Slovenia in a couple days!
Okay.. I know it is not a Monday…which is when I usually post but I have SO many things on my mind and I want to share! We are on day one of intern training after spending the first few days doing The Amazing Race!
Okay, not like the TV show but something similar.. I will try and upload a video soon about the experience.. it is kind of wild..but SO awesome. During this race we get challenges as a team (co-interns whom we work with during the summer), and then we get clues for our next location. But the catch is..you cannot use your phone, take a taxi, or even hitchhike (yeah, there is a story there).
This is a great way to get out of your comfort zone in order to talk to strangers to ask for help (or ask if they could use THEIR phone), or an introduction to public transportation in Eastern Europe, or even an incredible way to get to know your team on a way deeper level in terms of stress, challenges, success, and even conflict. Because of this we build trust that will assist us for the rest of the summer.
And let me tell you…this year’s race was HARD. Just physically draining. But it was just..well..amazing, if you will. I learned a lot about myself and a lot about the team I am with and it makes me extremely excited for the summer and what God has in store.
Now…to get to the meat and potatoes—
For those of you who don’t know, I absolutely LOVE Survivor, a popular reality show that takes place in many different countries around the world. In fact I wore my Survivor buff on the race!
The television show places a group of strangers in an isolated location where they must provide food, fire, and shelter for themselves. Contestants then must compete in challenges for rewards and immunity in order to not be voted out from the game. As the contestants are eliminated through the game there remains only one “survivor” who wins the game.
One of my favorite aspects of the game is the motto of the game: “Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast.”
This is a SUPER competitive phrase. Just listening to it makes me want to play and prove myself. But I was thinking about this throughout the race for a bit, or the competitiveness within me that has exploded in the last year and a halfish (which is not a number, I know, forgive me).
Through the last year I have grown immensely. Which is a lot. I am more confident, joyful, and yes.. you guessed it, competitive.
Because of my new found competitive spirit it has made it easier for me to think I have failed, that I have one shot at something.
Now, I’m not perfect. I have fallen a couple times in the last year, “Whoa, Mitchell! You’re human?”— yeah, yeah, I know. But when you feel you have one shot to get something right it pushes you to believe the lies that you are told from satan. It makes you feel like you are on Survivor, having one flame, and if it is extinguished you are done.
That is not a fun way to live. Actually, it is a sucky way to live. I don’t want to have one chance to be a Survivor. That is why God is such a wonderful and merciful savior (who else started singing that Church of Christ hymn?).
It is crazy how much I forget that God’s grace and forgiveness is everlasting and it will never be completely spent. Even on me. A sinner. Choosing to live in God’s goodness is so difficult. So, so, so very difficult.
So? What now? I believe constantly surrounding yourself by life giving spirits, things, and experiences is key. Because, I have noticed that when you feel like you have failed you will punish yourself by not doing that and you will go down a rabbit hole of isolation and unforgiveness. It is the worst.
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.Romans 15:9, ESV
Another fun thing I have learned in the last couple of days of the Amazing Race is that I really like being a leader. I say that with as little pride as possible or “me! me! me!”-ness. I had the privilege on leading a group on the Amazing Race.
Let me explain, Slovenia had two teams compete on the race along with 26 other teams from 12 countries. And I was so honored to lead a team and let me tell you I was TERRIFIED. Luckily we stuck as a country of two teams for most of the race, but for some of it we got split up. It was in these moments that I had felt affirmed with some things.
That I can be a leader, that I can figure out challenges, that I can stay alive in a country where I cannot speak the language. Now, I say “leader” but I also had an incredible team (talking about you Hannah and Sarah).
I am so excited for this summer. Like. Stoked. But, now to get ready for the rest of intern training.
I don’t want to just survive on this journey onward, I want to thrive.
Okay, that was cheesy. Anyway, pray for the rest of intern training, that our hearts would be open and ready to hear what God has for us, so that way we can be better prepared to serve in just a few short days! We have already learned SO much so pray for energy too!
in Him, Mitchell