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I remember that meeting at Panera Bread. Scott and I had been trying to connect for about a year at that point but our mutual friend Major insisted that we had to do it this time.
Scott sat across from me at that outside table, sunny day, few patrons walking in and out of the food establishment. As he explained his idea of taking a team to Guatemala to capture some stories in hopes of putting a documentary together I kept having little flashbacks of the talks I recently had with my wife. I had shared with her my desire to have a chance to use my skills in film and video for something larger than what I can see, something that would be honoring of God’s call on my life. I began to question whether this was it. Was this project Scott was explaining to me that one chance? As Scott completed his “pitch” so-to-speak, he looked at me and asked me for my thoughts. I responded with a question of my own. “What do you need me to do?”
Scott replied, “What do you want to to do?”
[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”http://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/10.10.13_02.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]That was a very good question.
I think many times we set the bar too low when it comes to the vision for our lives and what we have to offer. The goals we set for ourselves pale in comparison to the vision God wants for us. Even now as I type this out I’m facing with some tough decisions to make because work as been very slow the last several months. As a freelance video producer a slow month or two is fine and expected, but not several months in a row. The dreaded term “day job” has crept back into my discussions with my wife. But all that to say, most of us have a tendency set our sights too often on the temporary and react. The question Scott posed to me years ago that sunny day at Panera Bread gave me a chance to really think beyond just the task at hand.
At the time I wasn’t convinced Scott’s proposal to join the team to go to Guatemala was really that chance I had been seeking. So much so that when my wife asked me how the meeting went, I laid out the details and after her excited response, I voiced my hesitation. She did a verbal slap over- the-head as she responded with “What? How can you not see this is the chance you had been praying for and seeking?” Even after half-heartedly accepting Scott’s proposal, going through the pre-production for the trip, making all the travel arrangements and even sitting down in my seat on the plane, ready for take off, I still wasn’t convinced that this leap of faith was the right decision. It really wasn’t until I stood on the edge of the Guatemala City cemetery that things in my heart began to shift. While overlooking the largest dump in Central America, witnessing hundreds of people scavenging for discarded materials, smelling the foul stench in the air while I was surrounded by vultures and death I finally started to answer the question Scott had posed to me several months before.[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”http://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/021_IMG_0123_600p.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]
I’m a firm believer in the fact that trying to answer a call on your life, whether you’re a Christian believer or not, can be difficult without stepping outside of your surroundings. This is especially true for those of us who live in industrialized nations where our culture makes individual comfort a high priority. It takes accepting chances and opportunities that you’re not quite sure of in the moment but for some reason you know you should do.
I knew in that moment of standing in the cemetery overlooking the El Basurero (the Dump) my desire to create my own fictional stories would not stop there. It extended to doing what I can to tell the true life stories of people who live out their transformation and better the lives of people living in their communities, their country and even around the world.
I’ve also been blessed to see other creatives and other artists discover the answer to that same question and begin living it out in their every day lives. Some take leaps of faith to go after their
dream job. Others have gone on to build organizations with a mission to create community and better the lives of the people around them. It truly is a blessing. But I don’t think it would have begun without someone asking that question. I’m thankful I didn’t miss that opportunity.
What do you want to do?