It was the first day of March, and my friend Emmie & I had decided to spend our evening in the Amsterdam RAI Arena, celebrating the Hillsong Netherlands Church's 5th anniversary with the rest of the congregation.
Pastor Brian Houston, the founder of Hillsong Church was coming to the Netherlands especially for this service. I'd heard a couple of his sermons on TV before, but this would be the first time I would be hearing him speak in person.
I was really looking forward to it! 😃
We arrived at the Rai just in time for worship, and afterwards a few people gave an account of the church's growth over the last five years. Shortly after, the lead pastor in the Hillsong Netherlands Church Pastor Richard van der Kolk went to the pulpit and introduced Pastor Houston.
It was nice to finally see him here in the Netherlands. 😊 He started by expressing his regret that he hadn't been here before, and then he made us laugh with a few funny stories. Shortly afterwards he began preaching.
It felt good to be in the midst of other believers celebrating something special together. Honestly speaking, I hadn't thought about much else apart from that - I was just happy to be there! 😊
It was then that Pastor Houston announced his sermon title, 'Look it Straight In the Eye & Step Into it'. He talked about how it was time for us to get out of our comfort zones, and step into a place of faith. He went even further by saying that we should be looking around us for whatever is ripe for God's work, and ready for us to believe it possible of becoming more than it currently is.
I suddenly felt like he was speaking specifically to me!
I've often caught myself playing it safe in certain areas of my life. And it was only recently that I realized why - I sometimes feel guilty for how my life is turning out. It seems unfair that I sometimes have it easier than others do - or at least it sometimes looks that way to me and sounds that way, too.
What's more, it's also occurred to me that I had a different picture of where I thought the people I grew up with would be now. I always had the naive assumption that we'd all achieve the things we'd dreamt of achieving when we were younger, and it hits me quite hard when I see people in very different places from where I thought they'd be now - both physically and mentally. I never thought that the way other people's lives turned out would affect me so much. Neither did I think that it would hinder me from living out my own life to its full potential...
What I liked most about Pastor Houston's sermon, however, was that it redirected my focus to what's really important: doing what I am supposed to be doing and doing it to my full potential. With time I've learnt that what I am supposed to be doing is all that I can do no matter how unfair the opportunities that come my way may look from the outside.
I'd like to attribute where I am in life right now to something I may have done in the past, (and don't get me wrong - there are many decisions I made in the past that I'm now really happy that I made), but I know that it has more to do with God and His plan for my life than it has to do with me. I'm humbled and grateful that He chose me to live the life that I'm living. And I know that the best way I can show Him how grateful I am is to embrace it and live it to the fullest.💃
So with that said, it really is time for me to 'Look It Straight in the Eye & Step into It'. And if there's someone out there like me who hasn't been doing that, I kindly urge you to do the same. 😉😊