October 12, 2009

Catalyst Musings

Last week, I had the opportunity to go to the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, GA. It was my first trip to Atlanta, where I wasn’t trapped in customs for not existing in the national database of official US citizens. Close to 13,000 people attended the conference, which was packed with music and video and speakers full of inspiration and information. I’ll probably be processing my experience for many months to come, but here’s a brief summary of things that challenged and changed me.

1. Following Jesus is a life of risk and creativity. When we choose to rest on past successes or enjoy current privileges, we lose sight of the God who calls us on a journey to the cross. Failure is part of the journey; so is forgiveness.

2. We live in a culture obsessed with safety and security, leading to the development of artificial environments that have very little to do with day-to-day living or following Jesus. Following Jesus takes place in the real world, full of fears and doubts and questions, not behind closed doors.

3. “Technology separates us from those closest to us” (Shane Hipps). Technologies are an extension of the person (Marshall McLuhan). Our current addictions to all mediums blind us to the hidden powers of those inventions to shape everything from how we learn to how we interact with others.

4. “The flickering mosaic of pixilated light (on the TV) re-patterns neural pathways in the brain. These new pathways are simply opposed to the pathways required for reading, writing, and sustained concentration” (Shane Hipps, Flickering Pixels, 78).

5. We live in a time of overconfident leaders. We need leaders who lead through humility, demonstrated in the willingness to listen to and learn from others (Malcolm Gladwell).

6. Jesus said, “The first will be last.” We don’t believe this, and we certainly don’t live by it.

7. There are 143,000,000 orphans in the world. It is imperative that we come alongside those in need, sharing resources, love, and hope. One hundred--$100!—well-spent dollars can change a village. (Two fantastic organizations are Compassion International and Hope International).

8. Shoes are a gift and a joy. If you don’t believe me, check out TOMS shoes.

9. Sleep is over-rated. Chick-fil-a is not.

10. “There is no place like home.”


Anonymous said...

#3 has certainly become apparent to me during my short time in Louisville doing the HOPE program. We are not supposed to watch TV, and I barely text message anymore either. It's been a real blessing to get away from those distractions and usually time wasters. I've learned to embrace the company of those around me. It's funny how much better you get to know someone when you just sit and talk.

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