This I Believe

Jonathan - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 15, 2007

More Than Life

I believe in “experiencing life to the fullest,” but living for something greater than oneself as well. To live for something bigger than life itself, reveals the true character of a person. To be selfless in every way, making a difference in the world around us. When an individual realizes, that there is something more to living the routine, the typical “American Dream,” they impact the world in amazing ways.

I never saw myself making a difference in other peoples’ lives. The youth of today is too concerned with the “I’s” of life. “I want this. I want that.” Even in the technology of today! We have the Ipod, Imac’s, and the popular Myspace. I began to realize that most peoples’ worries in life, centered on their lives and problems. Recently, I began to write a list about my future plans after high school. “Go to college, get a job, study, have a family, retire…” I paused and thought for a second. “Then what? Is that all I’m striving for? After that, do I just…die?!?” I pondered long and hard on this idea, coming up with no immediate answer. It was then I turned to my faith.

I am a Christian. By nature, Christians strive to live a life that is “holy” unto God in order to obtain salvation in a place called heaven. My “existentialistic” question had a new direction now.

I listen to a Christian band called “Hillsong UNITED.” Their songs talk about living Christianity out, not as religion, but as a life that could change others around you, and impact people through faith and hope. I never really understood what that meant, until I saw the impact they have made up until today.

Starting off as a local church in Australia, Hillsong started off as a regular church, giving to the community and helping people. Their youth group called, Hillsong United, decided to take these actions an extra step further. Their desire was to help the lost and needy around their community. They eventually spread all across Australia, creating a movement unlike any other, spreading at a rapid rate. Their only purpose was to execute justice, freedom, and hope to the thousands of people who have none. Hillsong United has now spread across 20 different countries, including the United States, helping communities around the world. Their biggest impact is their contribution to Africa, helping over 50,000 people with shelter and food, and of course, relaying the message of hope. All it took was a group of ordinary kids, wanting to take church life to the world, showing how to love in a way that goes beyond the word, but that engulfs life.

I caught on to this idea pretty quick, and before you know it, I was helping people I didn’t even know. My friends and family saw an immediate change in my lifestyle, and so did I. I was no longer thinking on what car I would drive in the future, or where I would live, or how much money I would make. I started thinking “How can I change people around me by living love?” It is a deep question with an answer that would not be discovered in a day.

Hillsong UNITED came to a church in Phoenix, August 6, 2006. The lead singer said 6 words that changed my life forever: “Feel free to change the world.” Ever since then, I have tried to live a life not for myself, but for others. Helping the community in many different ways. People come up to me now and ask me “Why do you do it? How do you simply love the way you do?” When you come to understand how God loves the world, and “you” on a personal level, the love just kind of pours out. When you realize that there is something more to life than to simply “live to die,” your whole view changes. All I know, is that I would love to say the words that Paul the apostle said before he was executed for his faith, “I am not afraid to die. I have fought the good fight.” To say, “I lived a life like no other. I life not for myself, but to make a difference.”