Have you ever had a moment in your life where everything changed?
It seems to me that life is made up of these “moments” - moments of great tragedy, and moments of great joy.
And then somewhere in the middle, everything else.
I think we can spend the better part of our lives trying to figure this all out.
But, it’s life.
Life seems to just happen, and may I dare to say that most of it is out of our control.
So many why’s, what's, who’s, and how’s that I think we can actually miss the whole point why we’re here on this planet called Earth.
But, what if we embraced these moments?
That these moments make up our story, and how we respond to them actually make us into the person we’re supposed to be.
THE QUESTION THAT WAS HEARD AROUND THE WORLD
Have you ever been around someone who is really shy? Like really socially awkward, sweats, voice cracks, but who is really good looking?
Well, that's me.
Most people never believe me when I say that I’m shy, but my existence on Earth has been made of many sweaty, awkward, squeaky encounters.
The crazy thing about my story with all of that said, is from the time I became a Christian in my late teen years I felt called to be a leader of some sort. Whether it be a pastor, public speaker, or just a voice to tell the story of Jesus.
Which none of it still makes sense to me, seeing I know me. That even today it literally takes everything I have to even order a coffee at my favorite coffee shop. If an attractive girl is the barista, then good night! It will literally take me 30 minutes to work up the courage to begin thinking of how I'm going to order.
Welcome to my life.
It’s been fun.
This moment that I’m about to tell you which I call, “The Question That Was Heard Around The World”, was literally my biggest fear, and nightmare coming true.
And I signed up for it.
My youth pastor had asked three of us to speak at our youth group on a Wednesday night. Now the youth group wasn’t your normal church youth group. It was a place where tons of people from my high school went. Not just the homeschoolers, nerdy Christians, but actually an amazing diverse group of people. Not that homeschoolers and nerdy Christians aren’t amazing, but you get my point. (Sorry, not sorry)
I was given two weeks to prepare a 15 minute short sermon, and in those two weeks I experienced:
shortness of breath
loss of memory
I was a mess.
Most of that is true. Especially the bed wetting.
You get the point right?
The two weeks had passed, and the moment for me to speak had finally come. I will never forget walking up to the stage and looking out into the crowd. I felt immediately sick and remembered reading somewhere that if you pictured everyone in their underwear it would make things better.
Well, they lied.
It made it worse actually, and quite weird.
I had written word for word what I was going to say and had planned to dramatically throw each piece of paper on the ground after I was finished. As I began to speak I could feel my hands shaking, my voice quivering, and there was no way I was going to look up while speaking. I had written about 10 pages of notes in hopes they would last up to 15 minutes, but I must have went through them in about 4 minutes and 37 seconds. So, I dramatically threw my notes on the ground and looked up.
Then it happened.
I had witnessed my youth pastor at every sermon close with some sort of question. Basically a question asking if you wanted to follow Jesus. Similar to the one where I responded to when I decided to follow Jesus.
I looked up, and this came out of my mouth,
“When you leave this place tonight, you might walk out of here and slip on a chicken, and fall on a knife. And, uh… do you know Jesus?”
Thats right, what you just read is exactly what I said.
You know when you’re just hoping maybe you're dreaming? Or in my case, I was hoping maybe I was dead. Death would be the only way out of this.
I immediately put my head down, and then the roar of laughter came from the crowd. It was like a tidal wave of laughter just came crashing on me. From the back all the way to the front. People were doing that whole belly laugh where you are laughing so hard that you lose your breath, and nothing audible is coming out.
After the laughter died down, and the service was finally over, I just wanted to get out of there. People came up to me as I was trying to leave, and every conversation started and ended like this,
“You did a great…*laughter*…job.”
“Kevin, did you mean to do that?” *laughter with tears*
“I can’t wait to tell everyone at school!”
After the laughter had died down, and I finally made it home with tears rolling down my face I vowed to never speak in front of people again. It just made sense to me that this could not be my calling.
I ended up going to university to study theology not really knowing what I could do if I couldn’t speak in front of anyone. I just loved people. Maybe I could translate the Bible into a tribal language, or maybe learn to do some behind the scene things in the church? I really had no idea, but I knew I wanted to spend my life loving Jesus and people.
After I arrived at school it didn’t take long before my slipping on a chicken question made it around the campus. Back in the early 2000’s churches would record all their services on cassettes, and somehow this cassette made it all across the world. People in California, England, Massachusetts, Russia, and even South Dakota came up to me asking me if I was the, “chicken guy”.
Yep, thats me.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, that moment in my life really messed me up.
Three years really.
Then it happened again, a moment.
It was my final year in school, and part of the graduation requirements was to go on a school recruiting trip. I had avoided these at all costs. These trips were made up of 20-30 students where we went to conferences, churches, schools, and basically anywhere where high schoolers were interested in attending our school. We were required to set up booths, do one on ones, presentations about student life, lead worship, and preach.
Can you see why I avoided these trips?
No, thank you.
I’m really good at setting up a booth.
It was the final day of our trip. I had perfected the art of setting up the booth, had a few laughs with everyone, I even did a one on one with a junior higher who was interested in coming to the university in 6 years. I was proud of my work on this trip. Well done me. We only had one more event to do before the trip was officially over, and we could pack up and head home.
We were scheduled to do a youth service in a mega church in Atlanta, Georgia. First, the Jr. High students, and then the High School students. The service schedule was all in order. Who was to preach, lead worship, announcements, sound, and of course booth duty.
The Jr. High service was about to start, and the leader of the trip gathered all of us and says the words that I will never forget.
“We need someone to preach at the High School service, Jordan isn’t feeling well. Who will step up and do this?”
To this day I don't know what happened, it was like I was a puppet on a string or something. I found myself raising my hand, and actually verbally saying,
Everyone cheered, 45 seconds went by, and then it hit me.
WHAT HAVE I DONE!
Now, I officially wish I was dead.
The Jr. High service started, which gave me about an hour and half to overcome all of my fears, and come up with something to preach about. I could hear the other speaker, and he was killing it. He had all 300 plus Junior Higher’s laughing and engaged. This was a true modern day miracle.
How can I even follow this? Not to mention I have been praying that if God really loved me he would just take me home to heaven, or just burn the building down. Either one, I would be okay with.
The Jr. High service had ended, and the High School service had begun, and I was only moments away from speaking. I remember pacing back and forth in complete panic attack mode. It almost felt like I was going in and out of consciences.
Then it happened.
I walked out onto the stage and there must of have been over a 1,000 young people just waiting for me to speak. I looked up and I didn’t see a crowd, I saw individuals. That everyone was someone, unique, and were alive in this moment. That it didn’t matter if it was a 1,000 or 100,000, that everyone has a story, and this was my moment to be apart of it.
To be honest I don’t even remember exactly what I said, but I knew in that moment I was doing exactly what I was meant to do. It was as if my life came to this moment, and I had a choice to follow what I believe God put in my heart, or to be controlled by my own fears and insecurities.
It was as if every word that came from my mouth on that stage was exactly what I was supposed to say. The shaking, quivering, awkwardness, it all seemed to be gone. I remember the students laughing, being engaged, crying, and even responding to the question to follow Jesus.
That moment changed everything.
That this was my life, my calling.
To live, lead, and tell the story of Jesus.
What is your moment?
You see, I’m still me.
Voice still cracks, squeaks, and most definitely still socially awkward.
Not as good looking, but I sure do try.
It really all comes down to this: how will you respond to your moment?
Will we follow what’s in your heart?
This thing called life, guess what? We’re all in this together. Whether we like it or not, and you play a part in this moment in history.
Take a moment.
Remember your moment.
Maybe it was the fist time you went to an art museum, and said, “Wow! I want to create art like that.”
Or you got lost in a book, and wanted to create stories for others to get lost in.
You got your first camera, and you couldn’t put it down because you wanted to capture the beauty of life.
That teacher that made such an impact on you. Who believed in you, and how you wanted to be that teacher for someone.
I could go on and on!
The reality is, the world will never see who you are unless you be it.
That you can affect the lives of others around you.
By being you.
Be who you were always meant to be, because the world only has one you.