Has God every told you to do something that sounded completely and utterly foolish? I mean something that left your jaw dropped and a giant question mark floating over your head? This was my reaction when God first told me I was going on the World Race. Granted, I shouldn’t have been too surprised because I had been praying about God’s will for my future (though I was mostly looking for confirmation on my carefully thought out plans; not for God to completely turn my life upside down). It looked a little something like this:
Me: *Mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. An ad for the World Race pops up* What in the world is this?
God: This is what you’ve been praying about.
Me: *Thinks the World Race is some kind of marathon* God, you know I don’t run unless something is chasing me.
God: Just click the link, Sierra (I imagine he probably rolled His eyes at me).
Me: What? *Clicks link and realizes the World Race is a mission trip* Oh! Um, no thanks.
God: You’re going.
Me: But I’m not qualified.
God: You’re going.
Me: I can’t afford this!
God: You’re going.
Me: This doesn’t make sense. It would be foolish for me to go right now.
As you can see, I first had a lot doubts and a lot of excuses about going on the World Race and a lot of those excuses and doubts are valid. It really doesn’t make sense for me to go on the World Race right now. Currently, I am a senior at Liberty University but because of transferring from a different school, un-credited courses, and an added minor of Christian counseling, I have to attend an extra year. This means, I will have to take a leave of absence for the World Race and still have an entire year of classes to finish when I get home. Surely, it would make more sense for me to finish college and then go on the World Race.
At first I took inspiration from my buddy Jonah and tried to ignore God’s call. Though I didn’t end up sitting in the belly of whale gone mad (kudos to anyone who knows which song that’s from!), God wouldn’t let me forget about it. I literally could not stop thinking about about the World Race and it felt like no matter what I did there some kind of reminder about it (posts on Facebook, videos on YouTube, songs on the radio, Bible verses, etc.)
I was doing my morning Bible reading (I’m currently doing a plan where I read through the entire Bible in a year) when I read 1 Corinthians 1:25 (NIV), “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” As soon as I read this verse, everything God had been trying to get through my thick skull finally sunk in. I had been looking at the World Race from a human perspective; from a perspective in which going on the World Race was both foolish and impossible. I needed to be looking at it from God’s perspective.
I finally realized that things didn’t have to make sense; in fact, when looking back through the Bible, it rarely ever made sense when God called someone to do something but it almost always ended in something extraordinary. I’m sure Abraham, or Abram at the time, thought it didn’t make sense to leave his entire family and everything he ever knew to go to a land he had never heard of; yet he obeyed God he became the father of many, many nations.
After several weeks of denying, rejecting, fighting, and throwing the most horrible adult temper tantrum you could ever imagine, I prayed and told God that if this was His will I would trust and obey. When I finished praying I opened my Bible and wouldn’t you know it, the first verse I read was Jeremiah 1:7-8 (NIV), “But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am too young.” You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.” It was in this moment that I fully accepted and acknowledged that this, the World Race, is what God wants me to do.
I won’t lie, I am still a little frightened by spending 11 months abroad; however, I am so excited to pursue this call God has on my life and I am putting my trust in Him!
P.S. If you would like to sponsor my trip or keep up to date with me, you can do both by visiting my World Race blog: www.sierrasmith.theworldrace.org .