How to Leave Ordinary And Become Extraordinary – Part One

Summer is in full swing and while most ordinary citizens are basking in the sun and sipping their virgin margaritas, I am giving it all up. Working for summer beach camps has been my life for the past four years and five summers. You may not think that is normal, but for me it is my job. It all began almost a year ago when I was packing up and finalizing details of last summer’s beach camps. In me I felt a subtle discontent. Something was awry and became more unsettling. As August began to pass I found my heart longing for an escape from the ordinary and average and a pursuit of something extraordinary. What happened was a happenstance glance into a friend’s Facebook photo album. My pal, Kyle Dennard, left America behind for a year to explore the globe with the World Race. He too has a stirring of the heart to just get up and go. That same feeling echoed in my heart, “leave it all behind Trent and go.”

The Millennial Generation does not have the best reputation. We are understandably known as “Generation Me”. We have been raised to be comfortable, self-consumed, prideful, arrogant, and narrow-minded. In fact, articles have been posted recently on CNN, Fox News, and NBCNews.com about how it is not our fault that we are who we are. Here is the thing, we are at fault for who we are. It is a combined effort. Culture has blinded us to the truth that we are essentially emotionless robots who receive sensation from materialistic things. Brand names like Starbucks, Candy Rush, Snapchat, Facebook, Walking Dead, Instagram and Vine all feed into our egotistical self. They all exist to give us a temporary sense of fulfillment. They bring us in and toss us out and make us come back wanting more. Picture yourself sitting in Vegas in front of a slot machine constantly inserting coins into the machine. That is the American life.

The Christian Church has not been immune to this. Unfortunately many churches have entrapped themselves as well to culture. Some churches use flashy production to stimulate the mind. Some churches misuse the Holy Spirit and mistake it for an adrenaline rush. Some churches use tradition and “fire and brimstone” and forget about saving grace. Some churches have become too accepting and allow people living an immoral lifestyle to shepherd a whole flock. Like the rest of American culture, the church too has started to sit in front of slot machines trying to find God in the next pull. But God is not American and God does not change who he is for who our culture says he should be.

So, back to last August, I began to listen to the voice inside and began to ask those I love and trust their honest opinions and thoughts. Not one hesitated to say that The World Race was exactly the right thing for me to do. So in obedience to the urging of the Holy Spirit, I began the application process for the World Race. The turn-around was quick and such a God thing. Before I knew it I was the first guy added to the U Squad for September 2013 departure. The only thing that separated me from a life of faith, trust, risk and obedience was one more step, give the first donation myself.

Part Two coming shortly.

Please consider supporting my year in missions by supporting me financially on the World Race. Give now by credit card HERE. For more information on my involvement with the World Race and what I am doing click HERE.

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The Risk Hangover Pt. IV

As I write this final post on “The Risk Hangover” I cannot but stop and think of all the risks I have taken. I once heard a quote that the odds are in your favor if you take a risk, in fact, they are 50%. Not that bad if you really think about it. And here I am now sitting in my car at the airport waiting to pick up a dear friend after risking a lot to get here.

It all started at work when I ran an end-of-day report at the last second, which caused me to be ten minutes behind on getting to the airport. Then, as I neared Atlanta, I hit traffic. Typical. Thoughts began to flood my mind of, did I really screw up the timing on this and now I am going to hit the thunderstorms right as I get into downtown. Sure enough, the traffic got worse and hail and rain began to fall. Not only that, but a tornado warning was issued and I was stuck in 7 lanes of traffic. Perfect!

Just as I cleared downtown and was almost to the airport, my friend texted me to say his flight was now diverted to Nashville until the weather got better. Great! I was only 5 minutes out from the airport and decided it was better to just go ahead and head to the free parking lot at the airport. As I got off the exit ramp I noticed what seemed like a huge bomb of water exploding as a car plowed through the flooded exit ramp. It was too late to stop, so I did what Dad and all those defensive driving classes taught me to do; ride it out and don’t touch the brakes. I was going to risk it. (more…)

The Risk Hangover Pt. III

Pt. III – I Quit

In the previous posts on my series (Pt 1 and 2) called “The Risk Hangover” I talked about how many Millennials have never had to risk much in their lives. We have been given everything and yet now that most Millennials are now “twenty-somethings” we feel like we have nothing. Most would say they are overqualified in a job that they do not enjoy. Many Millennials are not married. I looked at all my high school friends and counted how many were married verses single, and the singles won the majority by a landslide. Marketers are having a ball with our age-group because it just seems like our generation is just scrambling for something to hold on to, something with meaning and purpose. They are trying to full our void. But what if I told you I did something that Millennials wished they could do? What if I quit a job that many would die for because I needed to experience more risk? Careless? Baby Boomers may think so. Exciting? Yes! Big risk? Oh yeah. (more…)

The Risk Hangover Pt. II

Pt II. The Lack of Risk

Previously I talked about my generation (Generation Y, Millennials, Generation Me) and how they have never really have had to risk much to get what they want. Then I mentioned about military enrollment for the Millennials and how it is on the decline. I finally ended with non-profits and dangerously linked them with why self-esteem issues are on the rise. But before we jump into part two, can I be honest? In hindsight, part one of this blog series was sloppy and not the best written blog I have ever done. But, let me make it up to you by answering all the big ideas I proposed in the first part. In one word, the problem is risk. (more…)