09 Jun I Lost My Summer, but I Found Something Better
One week of Summer LINK?Greenville is in the books, and I am already compelled to reflect on the unexpected blessings this experience has brought. My name is Joseph Bulsa, and I am a rising junior at North Greenville University where I study history and linguistics. I am from upstate SC (Spartanburg), and last summer I went to Miami with the GenSend program. That was a very challenging experience, but I expected more travels in my future for the 2016 summer. However, God had a better idea.
Summer LINK?Greenville certainly wasn?t my first choice for how to invest my time this summer. I was familiar with SL, but when I heard friends talking about it early in the spring I wasn?t interested. I knew I wanted to travel again this summer (instead of move next door from Spartanburg to Greenville), but another long mission trip like GenSend wasn?t appealing. I wanted to do something ambitious. I wanted to do something that was a big deal, something I would be lauded for, something that would cause me to feel good about myself. Whether that something was a challenging internship or adventurous globe-trotting, I was set on proving to myself and to others that I was bold and edgy. I was trying to build my identity through what I did, rather than trusting how God sees me.
With these goals in mind but not truly submitted to God?s will, I found myself confused and frustrated. The summer drew near, and all my friends had great plans. I had nothing. Nothing I pursued seemed ideal; nothing fell into my lap; nothing clicked. My college minister suggested I consider Summer LINK?Greenville, so I half-heartedly went through the motions of applying, but it was only a back-up plan. I just knew God would provide something more exciting and meaningful. Eventually, however, it became clear that SL was my best option because I had no other options. God slowly started to open my eyes to why He might lead me down this path, but I still wasn?t sold on the idea.
After a spending the month of May at home, my heart was warming to Summer LINK?Greenville. However, it wasn?t until we studied Philippians 2:1-11 during our SL orientation meeting that I truly saw why I am here. Verse 3 talks about doing ?nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit…? All my prior summer goals were selfishly ambitious and conceited. The Scripture goes on to speak about serving others and having the mindset of Christ, who humbled Himself ?to the point of death? and has been eternally exalted for doing so. God revealed to me that I am not a part of Summer LINK?Greenville to fulfill my ambitious desires. Instead, I am here to learn to serve others well and to trade my worldly ambitions for eternal ambitions. It seems we view the collegiate season of life as a time to find our lives, careers, spouses, and futures. However, God is teaching me to trade the temporary for the eternal. Now I really am excited about this summer!
P.S. It was fun to learn to surf on Lake Keowee this past weekend with my mentor and a few other guys from The Church at Cherrydale!