What I’ve Learned - End of Impact 360 Gap Year Reflection

by Noah Renz in Reflection on 05/20/2016

What an amazing year it has been! Full of growth, thinking, learning and doing. Everyone can relate to the impact motto: Know, Be, Live. However, when I first came to impact, I was coming mostly for the Know part. I didn’t fully understand the importance of be and live. I only was concerned about gaining knowledge. Well, God quickly changed my mindset and immediately helped me to understand that the motto, all of it, was to be followed the whole year.

God helped me to form a better understanding in two areas. First being community. I grew up an introverted homeschooler. Now, I did have a social life (contrary to popular belief). However, I didn’t see community as essential; especially in a faith sense. “Life is about just me and God”, I believed, “so that is all I have to worry about.” But that is not how God created us. He formed for Adam a helpmate from the very beginning. God knew in order to live a full flourishing life, we need to surround ourselves with other humans. Now it’s ok to be introverted, and it’s ok to take time to yourself; that is important. However, you need to fill your life with people who can help you grow as a person and grow in your faith. You need to surround yourself with people who help give a new perspective in life, and who you can have a good time with. There were many times throughout the year where I was lost, confused, or uncertain. I went and talked to God first. However, afterwards, I went and talked with someone in my community. God spoke life through them and helped lift me out of my uncertainty. The importance of community is something that God has helped formalize in my mind and heart this year. It’s something that should not be dismissed, but instead, should be sought out.

Another area that God helped me to gain a better perspective on is service. Usually when I think of service I think of volunteering at a soup kitchen. Mainly to get the service hours you need for school. However, service is the way God made us. It shouldn’t always be viewed as an extracurricular activity, but it should be the way we live life every day. Many things that God created from the beginning of creation have become twisted and distorted, I think service is now seen as a duty vs a privilege. If we truly want to love God and love others fully, then we need to have the mindset of serving others to help benefit them. We have healthy bodies with the ability to serve, so why not do it wholeheartedly and seek out the opportunities? We live in a society now where money has become the replacement for service. We view service needing a reward in order for it to be beneficial. But God wants us to seek the good will of another. I think serving with no expectations of return is an amazing example of that. It’s the way God made us and intends for us to live.

There are many ways that God grew me and taught me throughout this year, but service and community are two of the biggest. God not only taught me these, but he also allowed me to live them out throughout the year. I saw the motto, Know, Be, and live, in action as I walked though this nine month journey. Not only did I gain knowledge and information, but I also learned how to use that wisdom
and what to do with it. I’m excited to take all that God has engrained in me this past year and live it out for his glory.

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