Theatrics (or Lack Thereof) by Zachary Powell

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It was going to be great! Visions from God, holy words of the prophetic, speaking over hundreds of people, shouting the praises of the Lord with the Holy Spirit shining truth unto those that heard my words. That was the picture I had placed in my mind when I knew I was going to journey through the Heroic Leadership Institute. It's funny now, when I think about it. God has a very interesting sense of humor. While some of these experiences were sprinkled on my HLI walk, my journey through HLI was painfully different.

Yes, I fully anticipated and expected to be front and center. I wanted that because, it is what I thought I was doing as a teenager. I went to every youth retreat I could. I spoke every chance I could. I shared words and pictures whenever I felt led to. I thought that this is what it meant to be a leader in the church. I was ready for it. I hadn't gotten this during my first year at college, I went away wanting to experience the world and you know what I found? The world. One weekend home, I was told about HLI by a future classmate. I hadn't heard of it yet; being that we were a part of the pioneer year. They told me a little bit about it, then I talked to Shawn and Jenna Stepp about it, I talked to Phil Strout, and I talked to my parents. It was everything I wanted to do. At least, the image that I created in my head, is what I wanted to do.

Humility is not always an easy thing to learn. It comes fast and hard. Sometimes, your voice won't travel ten miles, and that's okay. Sometimes, your face isn't recognized as an HLI student and that's okay. Sometimes, you have to take a backseat and cheer for your peers who are breaking ground for the Kingdom to be built, and that is absolutely okay. Boy, its hard to learn though. Indifference is a tricky thing. It's a weird balancing act between "I won't let the outcome affect me" vs "I do not care". The latter is when resentment sets in. And trust me, it can set it in hard. God is good though. God knows what He is doing. He is good at what He does. Allowing God to control my everything meant that I didn't always get to do those things that I saw all my classmates doing. But as I participated with what He was doing in me, I got something much more rich. My intimacy with the Holy One grew exponentially. He entered parts of my heart that I didn't know were there. He exposed the capability of asking 'Hey, God what are you doing right now?'

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I was afraid. In this process, He showed me something that was part of my life, but something He wanted me to increase in. Art. One word. Art. I wasn't ready for it, but God reawakened my passion for it like never before. I began drawing through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, having one on one time with Jesus. It was through art that He showed me freedom. Freedom to take risks and make mistakes.  It was through art that God taught me indifference. Indifference to what life throws at me or what God is working on in me. It was through art that I learned to keep things simple. Simplicity works, you know. God doesn't want speeches, dancing, and theatrics. He wants me.

Mary McKellick