Confession time (ha, get it?): I’m a huge conference junkie.
I love going to the panels, doing the workshops, meeting all the people, and generally just having a high-focused place of learning. There’s just something about the dedication that radiates from a place like that–everyone is together for the same purpose, despite their different histories. One such conference, which I’d like to talk about today, is Toronto’s REMIX.
Run every year by DOXA, a division of Youth Unlimited (you might have heard of these guys before), REMIX is “a week-long interactive and hands-on urban mission experience designed to equip, train and inspire young leaders to ‘center their lives within the mission and message of Jesus.”1 It’s an awesome week of workshop-style training in the morning, hands on mission activities in the afternoon, and rip-roarin’ Jesus parties in the evenings to celebrate the day.
I had the opportunity to participate in REMIX 2016, and looking back, it was one of the most pivotal experiences of my life. I didn’t expect the week to be life-changing going in, but I ended up having a truly unique experience, even alongside hundreds of other youth. I often tell people that, within one week, I learned more things than I had learned in my previous 18 years on this planet.
At various points throughout the week, as a result of the teaching and the experiences I was able to have, I found myself brought to tears. I was so overwhelmed with joy that I was sobbing, and I felt that God was speaking through those tears, telling me with each drop a new lesson or word of encouragement. The things that happened that week fundamentally changed me and helped lead me to where I am today.
Next year, when the conference came around, how in the world could I pass it up? This time I documented some of the things God was speaking to me about (curse 2016 Cricket for not writing anything down!). One of the biggest things that He assured me of was that He actually does hear my prayers and anxious questions, and He actually does respond, according to His timing. Praying to Hindu gods, I used to ask questions upon questions, but never received any answers; now suddenly, I had found a God who not only answered my questions, but deeply cared about the person asking them. To me, this was a huge proof that Jesus Christ was the one and only true God. My biggest regret in life is not accepting Jesus earlier on in life, but really, if it’s all in His timing, do I really have anything to be regretful about?
When I say that that was one of the biggest things, that doesn’t mean it was the only thing. At every turn was a new lesson, as if God was not only answering the questions I’d already asked, but also ones I hadn’t yet thought of. Spiritual gifts, unconditional love, following how Jesus lived, forgiveness, companionship, purpose, money, and more–God talked to me about all of it, through the situations I found myself in, and most often, through the mouths of the people around me.
One of the key points of this second REMIX I attended was the idea of listening–really listening–to those around us. In a way, that sorta sums up some of what REMIX has been for me: a time set aside to listen to God, and to others. If you focus too much on the daily grind, or yourself, or any number of distractions we have these days, you can forget to listen, but really, it is what is often the most important.
A time of listening was a starting point in my faith. I realized how God had worked in my life even though I was just starting my journey with him. Before I knew how to speak, God showed me the plans He had for me and the potential He saw in me. Now as I speak to people like you (yes you, reader), I remember that I still need to listen.
Thanks again for listening (ha, get it (again)?)! Talk to you in the next one and remember to always stay grateful.