For a while now, I’ve had a strong desire to pick up people at bus stops or on the side of the road and offer them a ride. This little goal of mine has always been met with negative feedback due to the obvious danger it presents, but it something that I fantasize about nonetheless. It seems like such a great opportunity to talk with a stranger and show love in a very tangible way. Being a teenage girl, however, this isn’t the wisest of things to do.

Last night, I was finally faced with the chance to cross this goal off my bucket list. I was with three guys with whom I had just led worship at a church in Detroit, and we decided to go grab a bite to eat at TacoBell before heading home. We went in, and another man stepped in the doors after we had all sat down. He took his food to go and walked out the door. About fifteen minutes later, our group finished, threw away our trash, and decided to head back to our church to put away some equipment. When we stepped outside, the man whom we had seen some time earlier was standing in the parking lot looking frazzled. Apparently, he had borrowed a friend’s truck and it had randomly broken down. He asked for a ride, and I leaped at the opportunity.

After moving random chord sheets, a stack of worship CDs, my SCS sweatshirt, and a pair of boots to my trunk, I let the man into my car and had Ian, one of the guys that was with me, jump into the backseat. With my keyboard taking up the majority of the space in my small Scion, the man had to pull his knees towards him to fit into the passanger seat. He smelled like smoke, talked with a weird accent, and swore a bit, but I was SO excited to be helping him. He talked about his day, complaining that his phone had died, his car wasn’t working, and then his friend’s car broke down. He insisted on paying me $40 for driving him. I tried repeatedly to make him keep his money, but he just stuck it in the port on my dashboard and told me to give it to “God”. I played the Passion 2010 album the whole time we were driving, and I turned it up when we had a break in conversation. I don’t know that he listened. I don’t think he cared all that much. I would do it again regardless.

I often over analyze things, and I think differently than many people. Whenever I meet a new person, I immediately wonder how they think, what hardships they might be enduring, and what encounters they’ve had with God. It’s crazy that God designed every aspect of them and is trying to reach them at that very moment. It’s even crazier that, as a follower of Christ, I am called to be a tangible representation of Him. In our every interaction, we either build people up or tear them down. We are given a chance to breathe life into individuals around us with simple words and acts. I don’t often put myself out there. I am too insecure, selfish, arrogant, or just plain lazy. We are called to act though. We are called to live out our faith. We are called to live radically for Christ.

Instead of having a bucket list that features things like “own a motorcycle”, “go skydiving”, and “raise a puppy that dominates at agility competitions” (Yes, those are all on my unwritten bucket list…), shouldn’t my one goal be to surrender everything to Christ? I’ll still always have those little goals that I dream about. I’ll still be thrilled when I finally own an australian shepherd and I train it to be incredible at agility and fly ball. However, the goal of loving Christ the way He has called me to love Him should be my highest priority. It is a life-long journey. I find things in my life everyday that I realize I need to change. There are so many areas where I need to practice submission, discipline, and patience. It’s interesting that the more I try to give up to God, the more freedom I actually find. I find liberty and joy by surrendering my control. If I wanted to have the most exciting life possible, then my bucket list should simply say, “surrender every single thing to God.”