Monday, May 12, 2008

Rebelution Conference Notes--Part 2

Session 2-Do Hard Things, Brett Harris

Brett opened the second session with a hilarious story, telling that when he was around eight years old, he was terrified to take a shower. But of course, he's over that now. He even enjoys showers. Which brings up an interesting observation. Some things that were once terrifying to us are now part of our daily routine.

He then presented a theory: teen challenges are no worse than earlier challenges, such as riding a bike and learning to tie our shoes. He exemplified this idea by saying that teenagers have a greater capacity for doing hard things than young children do. He compared a Dixie cup with a gallon jug. They can both be half full, but even though the gallon may contain more water, they both are filled to half capacity.

Adults have never excused little kids from using the toilet or getting dressed, but the older teens get, the more they are limited, he explained. As we teens grow up, the more we limit ourselves by our tastes and label ourselves with expressions like, "I'm just not a math person," or "I'm just not very social," excusing ourselves to not be diligent in studying or unfriendly. He presented the depressing truth that our culture only expects teens to survive and not thrive. We aren't even expected to contribute to society until we're at least in our 20's. He says that we need to ask ourselves, "have we really reached our limitations?" Also, he said the ifPreCalc was required for higschool graduation, most of us would figure it out. That's sadly true. So often we only do what is absolutely necessary and neglect other important things.

Brett said we need to avoid being like Moses, who didn't want to lead Israel. He didn't try to fulfill the expectations that God had for him, so part of his job ended up being given away to his brother.

Continuing on, he told us that we need to glorify God and that He is not when we only limit ourselves to easy things. "We shouldn't be afraid of hard things just because they're hard," he nearly yelled at us. Easy things don't test our faith in God.

Everything in life takes tremendous effort by someone.

He closed out the talk with a list of what doing hard things looks like in our lives.

  1. Fighting Sin In Our Lives: Sinning is always far too easy, and it really doesn't produce anything. If we directed all our "hard things energy" into this one area, it would be the greatest.
  2. Battling Discouragement And Complacency: God has designed us to grow stronger as we're challenged. In that sense, we have an advantage if things don't come to us naturally because we get a better "workout" and we will come through our tough times as a stronger person. God doesn't call us to be the best around, but to be the best we can be. In the same way that we cannot get discouraged, we can't ever think we've made it. There is always growing to be done.
  3. Doing More Than Is Required: When you fail, it is because you haven't worked out enough, not that you have some negative traits. Going beyond what is required and expected of you will prepare you for the big tests you'll later face.
  4. Getting Over Fear of Failure: G.K. Chesterton said: "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly." Failure is really not wasted if we rely on God more because of it. We also get stronger even we fail, as long as we try hard.
  5. Doing Hard Things Looks Different For Each Person: Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so what may be hard for one person may not be for another. There are also very different roles for males and females.
  6. Hard Things Are Often Little Things: Sometimes it's easier to study hard and ace a test than being nice to your siblings all day is. It's a matter of importance, not magnitude. We must remember not to overlook the little things.
  7. Doing Hard Things Is The Best Life.


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