I love hashtags.
This confession might be career suicide seeing as how I am getting my Masters in English Lit, and I am a writing instructor at UNM. I am supposed to be the slayer of all fragments, the bane of improper capitalization. But I can't help it. I think hashtags are fun, catchy, and a unique form of communication that we have recently embraced.
Also, Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon do a hashtag skit, and it's one of my favorite things ever. Funny how Jimmy seems to be at the root of many of my favorite things...
Anyways, Russ and Jamie share my passion for this mode of communication so for the past two years, we've introduced a new hashtag each semester to our students. We started with #allthingsnew and moved into #identity, #courageous, and now #waytobe, each of them directly correlating to our topic for that particular semester. We ask students to tag Instagrams, Facebook posts, and Tweets with these hashtags so that we can create an online community connection as we pursue the Lord together.
This semester - #waytobe - has me thinking: what is the "way to be"? We've been talking about the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount for the past several Tuesdays. Jamie talked about how when Jesus delivered these words to His followers, He flipped the normal way of being on its head. His message was radical. His message was hard.
Not a whole lot has changed about Jesus' message over the past 2000 or so years. It's still radical. It's still hard. I think about other "way" passages in the Bible, and I'm reminded of Jesus' words in John 14:6..."I am the way, and the truth, and the life." These statements of Jesus are deceptively simple. I find myself so often repeating these words with an attitude of: "Of course, You're the way. Of course, You're the truth. Of course, You're the life." But I rarely stop and actually think about these characteristics of Jesus.
This weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to spend time at Lone Tree Ranch with my friend Morgan. We rappelled, we ate, we watched men in tights and capes ride fixed gear bikes, we napped, we sang, we listened, we learned how many gallons of water are contained in a toilet as we watched it pour onto the floor of our cabin, and we hiked. Eventful to say the least, yet also relaxing and fun.
One of the songs we sang several times at the Ranch is by United Pursuit Band. It's called "Nothing I Hold On To" - you can listen to it here. One of the lines says, "I give it all to you God, trusting that You'll make something beautiful out of me." We sang it over and over. Honestly, I was getting tired of it. Until I realized God was trying to get me to actually listen to what was coming out of my mouth. That in giving all (that means EVERYTHING) to Him and trusting that He's doing something in me, I am confessing that I am not the way, that I am not the truth, and that I am not the life. I have given those things up to Jesus when I gave up all.
But this brings me back to Jesus' radical words. Am I willing to let Jesus turn my life upside down? Am I ready to let my way of being reflect that I have made Jesus the way of my life, that I have made Jesus the truth of my life, that I have made Jesus the life of my life? My answer to these questions currently is "yes, sometimes." This semester, I'm hoping to inch closer and closer to "yes, always."
So what's my #waytobe? My way to be is like Jesus. How do I do that? I don't know exactly, but I think it starts somewhere around "yes, always."
Peace and blessings, y'all!