Andy Stanley - Ask, Answer, Act
So I wanna welcome all those of you joining us from all over the Atlanta area at all of our churches. Those of you down on the south side and down in Fayetteville especially. All the cool stuff you're doing down there, Hilton Heads, South Carolina, Highlands, North Carolina, lake Oconee Church. I could go on and on and on. Those of you following us from camp sites all over the country, we get some of the coolest email from people who've gathered together and watch us. So the thing that's so exciting to me, honestly, because of you, and because of you, is that there is just this growing number of Jesus followers, and men and women have put their faith in Christ, but have said, no, it's more than believing, it's behaving and it's following Jesus and seeing some of the great things that have happened or beginning to happen from people on different sides of political aisle, people who've just never engaged with people who weren't like them, but realize, wait a minute, I'm a follower of Jesus. These are my brothers and sisters. And that's making a difference in your community, and that's making a difference in our community. And I love the fact that we get to do that for another year together.
Now, as we start off this year in January, and I know we're kind of into it a few days into it, this is typically for many of us, the season of self-improvement, which is good. And the reason this is good, and I don't, I'm not, I don't have anybody in mind, but some of you, you need to improve yourself. Okay? I'll just leave it at that. Okay? So this is a good thing. This is where we become painfully aware because we're reminded, painfully aware of, of where we are and where we're not, what we need to start, what we need to stop doing, what we need to start eating and stop eating, eat more of, and eat less of. And in many of our cases, it's the same stuff that we decided a year ago that we were gonna do less of and do more of and stop eating as much of. And I get that I'm guilty of that as well. And in this season, we're really asking without, I mean, you didn't have this question before today, but basically the, the question for most of us during this season is, what should I do about me?
And this is an important question to ask. In fact, multiple times at our church, we talk about things that you, you need to work on for you and I need to work on for me, what can I do to make myself, in this case, you know, smarter? What can I do to make myself slimmer or stronger, healthier, wealthier, successful? Maybe you want this year to make yourself less lonelier. And as a pastor, I just wanna say, go for it. I hope you accomplish all of those goals. I hope next year your goals are different because you've been so successful this year. Stick with them, get that degree, you know, break that habit. For some of you, it's get outta debt. I hope you're massively successful and consistent. But I want to, and then the next three times we're together, beginning today, I wanna add a question. I I wanna give you something to add a second question that actually is gonna potentially help you. It may actually motivate you with your, what should I do about me goals? But it's a, it's a different question. It's not a religious question.
So if you're not a religious person, or you're new to faith, or you've abandoned faith, or you're somebody dragged you in here, you're spending the night with family and they're making you watch this, sorry, this has nothing to do with religion. This is just a really important question that I think, and I think you'll agree that everybody should ask and answer, and everybody should ask this question in every season of life, because the answer or the answers to this question change with each season of our life. In fact, if the question, I'll tell you what it is in just a minute, if it sounds familiar, it's because I introduced this to our network of churches back in 2015. And every once in a while, I kind of drop it into something as a reminder. But in every season, we should all, I think, dust this off and ask and answer this question.
Now, a little heads up a little warning, this question will mess with you. It will bother you. It may make you feel guilty, it may motivate you if we allow it to do its work. This is the kind of question that can focus you and maybe change you. I mean, as we're gonna discover this question, or similar questions actually change some people's life. It has the potential to change. Honestly, this isn't preacher talk. It has the potential to change the trajectory of your life. You may be surprised by a rush of emotion or maybe a rush of guilt. I think when we ask this question, some of us, if we're honest, we're tempted to look away because the, the answer scares us. For some of you, when I ask the question, you're gonna know the answer immediately. Others of you aren't gonna have an answer. And that's okay that we're gonna talk about it for a while. This is just the beginning of the conversation.
So there's no guilt. And if you don't have an answer, that's okay. But I would suggest you write it down and put the question somewhere where you can look at it, because this is the kind of question that will make your life better. Now, if you're a Christian, again, this isn't a religious question, but if you are a Christian, especially if you've committed to being a Jesus follower, this, this, I don't know, this, this question is important for us for several reasons, and we're gonna talk about one specifically next time. But the reason we should all take this seriously as Christians especially, is because this question or the sentiment behind the question, the thing that fuels the question actually threads its way through the entire story and history of our faith. I'll give you a couple of examples. The sort of the, I don't know, the oxygen, the thing that fuels this question is the reason that Moses most of us know, know enough about the story of Moses.
It's the reason that Moses couldn't stand by and do nothing while his people labored and suffered under the authority and the mistreatment of their Egyptian task masters. I mean, we know, most of us, I know the story about Let my people go is Moses just, and the thing about Moses, he was a prince. He was actually part of Pharaoh's household, but he was related to this, this nation of slaves. And it would've been so easy for him to just look the other way and just, you know, kinda ride this out as the Prince of Egypt. And he, he just couldn't do it. It's why, and this isn't as familiar story, but as a powerful story. It's why Queen Esther in the fifth century, she was actually the, a queen of Persia. She was the wife of the most powerful person in the world. And if you know the story, it's why she couldn't stand by and do nothing. When she discovered that there was a plot to exterminate all the Jews in Persia. And she finds out about this, and she's the queen, but it's not like we think kings and queens because the, you know, the king had a, had a harem. It was king Xerxes.
And as the story goes, he chose her as the queen because she's the most beautiful person in, in the empire that he could find. But he had, you know, other stuff going on. And so you didn't just walk into the presence and say, honey, I've got a question. In fact, there was a law that you could not enter king Xerxes presence without being invited. And if you did, it was the death penalty. And she discovers there's this plot, and the only person that can stop, you know, her people from being exterminated is king Xerxes. And he hasn't called, you should read the story. He hasn't called on her and 30 days. And so she gathers some people together and she says, you gotta pray for me. You gotta fast because I'm going in and if he doesn't hold out his gold scepter, my life is over, but I've gotta go in anyway. And then she makes this, this famous statement, maybe you've heard this statement before, didn't know who originally said it. And she said, and I love this. If I perish, I perish, but I can't stand around and do nothing.
This question, and the cinema behind this question is really what fueled Nehemiah, one of the greatest leadership stories in ancient history, maybe ever. And one of the great things about the story of Nehemiah, maybe for us, is there's no miracles. You know, God doesn't do anything unusual. It's just good old fashioned leadership and work. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to king Artaxerxes of Persia again. And he's got it made. He's got like this cush job. He's just, I mean, he's living the dream in the most powerful empire of the world. He's got a relationship with the most powerful man, you know, alive at that time. And he gets news that things are not going well in Judea, Jerusalem, where he's from, because he's a Judean, or originally his family was, and he's got this, this tension on the inside. Things are bad there, but things are good here. But I can't unhear what I've heard. And he goes to King Artaxerxes, and he asks for permission to leave his service.
Nobody does this. I mean, you spend your whole life getting to this place. He asked for permission to leave his service to go back to Jerusalem to do something for the people. In fact, he actually says, would you make me the governor of Jerusalem? Of Judea? So I'll have the authority to go back and address the economy, to go back and address the fact that the gates have been burned down, the walls have been torn down, that things are, that people are depressed and distressed. And the king says you have permission to go. And he goes, and it's an extraordinary, extraordinary story. But the thing that, that caused him to leave what was comfortable for what was uncomfortable, really is behind the question that we're gonna wrestle with for the next few times that we're together in some way.
You know, this is the reason that Jesus left his father's side in heaven, the best that we can understand that, and came to be one of us. And to live among us and to suffer as one of us. It is certainly no exaggerated, no exaggeration, no exaggeration. It was certainly the reason that he left the safety of Galilee where it was his people, and traveled south to the lions den of Jerusalem, knowing would've waited him there. It's why again, the Apostle Paul continuing the narrative is why the Apostle Paul, he gets to, to Athens, and he's kind of, he's kind of waiting to be picked up at the, the, the port in Athens to go on his way. And he wanders through the city of Athens. And this question, or what was behind this question, is the reason he couldn't keep his mouth shut. He's walking around in Athens, he's a nobody, nobody knows who he is, and he notices there's hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of altars and people are making sacrifices to hundreds of gods, maybe thousands of gods.
And this is a sophisticated city. These are sophisticated people, some of the brightest people in the ancient world, and he's like, oh my goodness. They don't know that God has done something for them, that the one true living God has done something for them. And he can't keep his mouth shut. He's just gotta do something. He's gotta say something. And he preaches this amazing message, and most everybody ignores him, but he's like, I I I just couldn't keep my mouth shut. And it's not just the ancient world that's been impacted by this question or a question like it, the modern world. In fact, the modern world has been shaped by men and women who've refused to, this is so important, who've refused to look the other way, who've refused to look the other way. When the answer to this question became apparent, it's why Dr. King left the comfort and the safety of the north to come to the uncomfortable unsafe south. And he stayed here because he could not unhear what he had heard. He could not unread what he'd read, and he could not unsee what he'd seen.
It's why my friend and some of your friends as well, Janine and Ian Maxwell, Janine ran one of the largest and most successful marketing companies in Canada some years ago. It's why that Ian and and Janine Maxwell moved to a pretty much forgotten kingdom in the middle of Africa 12 years ago. They had visited, they had visited Swaziland, the king later renamed it Sini. It's kind of cool if you're the king, you can say, we're gonna rename our country and everybody just nod. So he renamed the country Sini. But when they moved there, when, and then they first originally visited there, it was the, it was the Kingdom of Swaziland. And when they got there, they saw children raising children because the AIDS pandemic had destroyed and killed off almost all the adults.
Years ago, Sandra and I went and visited with them there, and we saw this firsthand, and when you see it, you can't unsee it. And so they shut down their business and they moved to Swaziland, now Tini. And they just began rescuing babies when we were there. We went with them to rescue two, two babies. And the first thing they do would be have them tested to see if they're HIV positive. And oftentimes they are. And they've been rescuing babies for 12 years. And if you're wondering how many babies they've rescued, I had her send me this picture this week. They've rescued this many babies because that was 12 years ago, and now they're 12 years old and 11 years old. And this is Janine 401, this is number 401. There's Ian on the other side because once they saw it, they couldn't unsee it. And then she tricked me. She named one of the babies, Andy. And now I have to fund them for the rest of my life.
It's a little Andrew actually. I'm just kidding. Anyway, it's why Hal and Dory Donaldson you. Some of you remember Hal and Dory, they, I interviewed Hal for Be Rich this past fall. Remember he told that amazing story. It's why, it's why 30 years ago, 30 years ago, they loaded up the back of their truck with groceries and began delivering groceries on the other side of town because they discovered there were people in their own communities that didn't have enough food to eat. And enough children. There were children who, who weren't getting the right kinds of meals. So they just began delivering food. And, and what began as a hobby, what began as a weekend project actually became a non-profit and has become one of the most successful and most well run non-profits in the nation.
One of our partners, strategic partners, or excuse me, one of our interstate partners, convoy of Hope. The the answer to this question, no exaggeration, is really why we started this church. I mean, the last thing, 28, 29 years ago, the last thing the city of Atlanta needed was another church. I mean, we're in the south. I mean, you can't go a hundred yards and there's another church, right? But we were convinced that Atlanta needed a different kind of church. This question is why Sandra and I became foster parents. Sorry, I, we had a friend and he told us his story. He was a foster kid, grew up in foster homes, and I listened to his story, we listened to his story and we're like, I can't unhear that. And suddenly I've become aware, we wake up to a reality in our communities that we didn't know about before. And once, you know, you can't unknow and we couldn't, you know, foster all the kids that needed to be fostered, but we could foster some.
And so for 10 years, you know, kids are in and out of our home. So all that to say this, when we, when we address, and when I give you the question, you, you may not have an answer, and that's okay. You may not have an answer yet. But in the meantime, I want you to write this down and I want you to put it somewhere. And I'm inviting you to allow this question to bother you until you have some sort of answer. On the other hand, as soon as we, I give you the question, some of you're gonna know immediately what the answer is, and you're gonna be frustrated because you're like, yeah, I think about that all the time, Andy, but I don't know what to do and I don't think there's anything I can do. And thanks for reminding me. I'd rather not think about it. The problem's too big, it's too complicated and I can't do anything.
And I'm here to tell you, everybody can do something. And then you may be the opposite. You may know the answer to the question, and you may know exactly what to do, but it scares you. And it should, because it's gonna cost you, it's gonna cost you some time and some money, some freedom. It's gonna cost you some opportunities. And it may cost you a reputation. It may cost you a relationship because you've got family members that are like, you're gonna do what you're gonna do. You're gonna start doing no donating to what you're gonna start volunteering, where you're gonna start. Like you're gonna take your vacation and go where, and they're never gonna understand it's gonna cost you something. And I get it. But here's why. That's okay. And here's why it's worth it. Here's something we all have in common.
The people that you admire the most, the people you admire the most are not the people who got in shape, got out of debt, and then just got on with their lives. The people that have that inspire you are not the people who've devoted themselves to becoming the best version of themselves and then just went on to be a better version of themselves. The folks who inspire and amaze you are the folks who'd at some level had the courage to ask, answer, and act on this question. And they are the people that made a little piece of the world better, and they certainly made somebody's world better. So this is a question we should all ask and we should all ask it in every season of our lives. And just wanna be fair while it's absolutely appropriate, while it's absolutely the right thing. In fact, it may be the urgent thing for you to ask the question, you know, what should I do about me? I mean, there may be some things that you really need to immediately address. What should you do about you?
And I would encourage you to do that as you start the year along with this question. I just wanna invite all of us to take a step away from the mirror, step off the scales, put our phones down for just a moment and ask a better, a clarifying, I'll be honest, a terrifying question that will reveal something about you, but has the potential to catapult you beyond you in a way that maybe you never thought possible. So here it is. What breaks your heart? What breaks your heart? It's okay not to know, but it's the question we should all ask from time and time.
What breaks your heart? And, and like me, just to be clear, like me, there are a lot of things that bother you. There are a lot of things that irritate you. There are things that offend you culturally. There are things that bother you nationally. There may be some things that irritate you locally, but is there, is there one thing that, that surpasses all those other things? Is there one thing, one category, one issue that above all the things that just kind of bother you and irritate you and make you mad and make you wanna throw something at the television? Is there one thing in particular that is above all those other things? Is there one thing that just kind stays with you? You kind of wish you'd never read about it. You kind of wish you'd never heard about it. You wish you wish you'd never seen it, you wish you'd not visited it, because now you can't get it out of your head and it just sits there. And it's frustrating because you don't think there's anything you can do about it, but you live with a bit of that tension.
And one of the things that bothers you is it doesn't seem to bother anybody else. They're just irritated. And you're like, no, it, it's, it's bigger than that. Is there anything that transcends merely irritating and concerning that elicits more emotion than all of those other things? More than sad. Is there anything that when you give it your undivided attention, it kind of makes you mad. Something that you find yourself thinking or saying this just shouldn't be. This is how Sandra and I say it all the time. We'll see something or hear about something. It's like we say that just shouldn't be in the world.
Now I mentioned Janine Maxwell a few minutes ago, showed you the picture of the kids in Sini. She wrote a book years ago when she first got there. She's written several books and I love the title of her book. The Problem with the title of her book, it is so emotional to me because I've been there and I've seen this extraordinary work they do. But here it's the perfect title. The title of her first book is this. It's not okay with me, it's not okay with me. Is there anything in the world that's not okay with you And not okay with me? Not okay. Maybe even with us. I, I'll, I'll tell you my personal, my my initial foray into this, this tension that this question raises. I was in my twenties and I never felt called to ministry. I volunteered. I mean, I had friends that felt called, they went forward and told my dad and he put, put his arm around him and said, this is so and so. He feels called to ministry. She feels called to ministry. It's mostly he's back then. But you know, they're, you know, women got called. We just couldn't call him pastor.
But anyway, we're, that was a long time ago. So anyway, so it was usually a, I feel called to preach. And I was driving around with my dad because I wanted to be in ministry. I'll tell you why in a minute. But I never felt called. I was kind of waiting for this lightning bolts or I woke up in the middle of the night, or the angel or I would sometimes pray, God, if you're gonna call me, don't do it audibly 'cause I'll wet my pants. Okay? So just don't, don't over call me. Just, you know, make it clear, you know. So I'm driving around with my dad one day and I said, dad, do you have to be called into ministry or can you just volunteer? That's what I asked him. We're in our green Grand Safari station wagon. I remember right where we were in Cobb County, you know, I said, can you just volunteer for ministry? 'cause I'd like, he said, yeah. I said, well, I'd like to volunteer.
That's how I got into this. And I tell you what, what drove me. I was working just as a volunteer with some high school students. And I began working with college students and then high school students again. And the thing that broke my heart was watching students watching, you know, back then we call 'em young people, watching young people watching students, teenagers, and, you know, college students, watching them make decisions that I knew would potentially undermine their future. It just broke my heart. I'm like, no, no, no. Why are you doing that? Why are you going there? Why are you participating? You don't understand. You think it's an event, it's a pathway. This leads somewhere. I mean, come on. Life is hard enough. Don't make your life harder by creating your own regret. I mean, some regrets are unavoidable. They deal with, you know, they have other people that do things to us or create environments we can't escape. But come on, don't make your life harder than it's already gonna be. And that burden stayed with me. And that's what drove my communication. Then It's what drives my communication.
Now, it's why try to be practical. So, you know, sidebar, here's the, here's the mini sermon for today. Don't make your life more complicated than it already is with bad decisions. That's it. That's all I wanna say to you week after week after week, you know, follow Jesus. This is why we say following Jesus, make your life better, makes you better at life. So that, that's what really broke my heart in those days. That's why I stayed for years and years. I thought I would work with high school students my whole life. I really did. Because I'm like, if you, you know, if you can just get these years, these college years, right? It just, it just puts you on a trajectory that's gonna make your life better.
Now, okay, so that's enough about me. So back to you. What, what breaks, what breaks your heart? Years ago? We're in the kitchen, and Sandra and I are talking about this, and she had a different way of asking this question. So I'll ask, I'll give you her version or, and maybe it's more clarifying for you. She said, if you were, if, if you, if it were up to you, if it were up to you, and you could choose like one thing, if you were up to you and you could choose one thing, there's the question, what would you like people to line up and thank you for at the end of your life? That's a great question. If you just pick one thing and all your productive years are over, you know, you're sitting on the front porch somewhere and they're gonna line up people who've been in and outta your life, and you could choose what they would come and thank you for, in other words, the one thing that you would wanna make a difference in the world or with a group of people.
What would you like for people to thank you for at the end of your life? Here's another angle. This is kind of the nuclear angle. If you could push a button, that's why it's nuclear. If you could push a button and change one thing in the world, what would it be? If you could, suddenly you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be? Now, if you don't have an answer, don't force it. It's not gonna be a quiz. Nobody can read your mind. You don't have to know today. But if you don't know, if you don't have an answer, I want you to think about it because we're gonna continue to talk about it. What breaks your heart? Now here's the good news. That was kind of the scary scare you away news. Here's the great news, okay? So kind of bring you back regardless of your answer, you're not gonna have to face down a Pharaoh and deliver a nation from Egypt. Okay? So you're not gonna have to do that. All right?
So you can take that, that's already been done. You're not gonna have to rebuild a wall around a city. You're not gonna have to replace the burned down gate. You're not gonna have to restore a national economy. You're not gonna have to confront idle worship idle worshipers in the streets of Athens. All right? You, you probably won't even have to quit your day job, but you're probably gonna have to quit something. Answer this question, honestly, you're, you're, you're, you're not gonna have to give up everything, but you're gonna have to give up something. You probably won't have to leave the country. You probably won't have to leave the city, probably won't leave, have to leave your house, but you're gonna have to leave behind something. You probably won't have to leave the country.
But I'll tell you what, you will have to leave, you'll have to leave your comfort zone. And you're like me, and I'm like you. We kind of set our sights on the comfort zone. Hey, we're Americans. Of course we do. I don't think that's bad. It's not a problem. It's just, I mean, we have the opportunity to do that. Most people in the world don't even have the opportunity to create a comfort zone, but we can save toward it and invest toward it and plan toward it and get our family straightened out toward it and get our marriage. You know, we can, we can sort of work toward a comfort zone and we're all drawn there. In fact, some of you're close to to there, some of you finally got it set up. Some of you're in your twenties and you're like one of these days.
But if you have, you let this question get to your heart, you won't be able to stay there all the time. You're gonna be forced. You're gonna be called, you're gonna be motivated to step out because whatever breaks your heart, you're not gonna be able to address it from the safety and the comfort of your comfort zone. You're not gonna have to give up everything, but you're gonna have to give up something. And here's the thing. That's okay. Let me make you a promise. Whatever you give up in order to address the thing that breaks your heart, here's the promise, you won't miss it. But if you ignore the tug, if you decide, I just can't look over there, I don't want to hear about that. If you ignore the grief or the anger or the heartbreak, if you keep telling yourself there's nothing I can do, lemme tell you what you will miss. You'll, You'll miss an opportunity.
And here's the real tragedy. You won't know you missed it. It came and it went, and you were so locked in and I'm so locked in on my comfort zone and my thing, and you know, somebody else can deal with that, and it's too big. And you know, what could I do anyway? You'll miss the, and you know what you might miss. You might miss the opportunity of a lifetime. You might miss the greatest opportunity of your lifetime, an opportunity to make a difference in the world, but for sure to make a difference in somebody's world and missing that opportunity. Please hear this missing. That opportunity is what you should fear more than the potential cost of facing. And answering That question, lemme say that again, missing that opportunity, whatever it is. And I don't know what it is for you. And if you miss it, you may not know either. Missing that opportunity is what you should fear, because that opportunity are, those opportunities in different seasons of your life are the opportunity to make a difference in the world and to make a difference in somebody's world.
And here's why. You should fear that more than you should fear what you're gonna have to give up. And you know this because I remind you all the time, and we'll continue to, at the end of your life, at the end of my life, You're gonna be celebrated for the difference you made, not the dollars you made. We're gonna be remembered for what we gave and not what we saved. And I'm all for saving. In other words, I I tell you this all the time, and anytime you go to a funeral, you're reminded of this. But after funerals, we have a tendency, unless it's a really, really close relative, we have a tendency to kind of shake it off and get back to, to life and get back to what we're doing. And I understand this, but every time you attend a funeral, we're, you're reminded of this that in the end, in the end, not during, this isn't about the, the dignity of a person or the value of every human being that's been born in the image of God. But in the end, the value of a life is always measured by how much of it was given away. And you know that, and I know that.
And what breaks your heart is your opportunity to leverage that while you are gonna talk about this in part three, while you still have the opportunity to do so. And here's what's true of me. What's true of you every single day is another day that potentially that opportunity slips away. So this question shouldn't scare us. It should inspire us. What breaks your heart? So here's what I want you to do. I just want you to pay attention this week. And maybe you've got some close friends or some people who attend or who watch with you, just talk about it. And this is equally as important. If nothing breaks your heart, you should pay attention to that as well, because that says something about you. And it may be an indicator that you have some work to do. And if you are a follower of Jesus, as we're gonna talk about next time, when we open the scripture and we dive deep into one of Jesus' most amazing teachings, it's a reminder that God wants to do some work in us. Because if it's all about me, no matter how much I weigh and how successful I am, and even how much generosity, I, you know, how generous I am. If it's all about me. And if it's all about you, we have work to do.
And if you're not a Christian, let me just be clear. If you're not a Christian or a religious person, I have no right to tell you what to do. And I'm not trying to manipulate you. I mean, your life is your life and you gotta figure out what or who's gonna be the Lord or the king of your life. But if you call yourself a Christian, and I call myself a Christian, we have a Lord. The the Lord has said, even the son of man talking about himself did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life for those and to give his life as a ransom for many. And that those are marching orders. And it's not to the exclusion of your physical health or your financial health or your success with your family. But if this isn't a part of, if this isn't a piece of, if this isn't a slice of your time and your opportunity and your talent and your treasure and your expertise, then maybe you have some work to do.
So in the meantime, get in shape, diet, exercise, get that degree, get out of debt, keep working on you. And here's why you should keep working on you, because you should be the best version of you you can possibly be in order to be a means to an end that is not you. And when you are willing to position yourself as a means to an end that doesn't end with you. You experience life that is truly life. And many of you in this room with me, and many of those of you at all of our campuses and many of you watching, you know exactly what I'm talking about because this has been your life for years and years and years. So keep working on you because chances are there's something bigger in you, bigger than you, that involves you, that may be waiting on you. And I don't want you to miss it because that would break my heart and we will pick it up right there next time. In part two of a better question, and I'd love to pray for you and us.
Heavenly Father, every one of us is a product of somebody who put us ahead of themselves, a coach, a teacher, a grandparent, a parent who gave up financial opportunities to be at home, a, a parent who decided to say no to some things so they could be at our ball games, put us to bed at night. Father, all of us understand we are, we are products of somebody who said, I'm gonna give up something personal for the sake of this kid, this college student, this young adult, this newly married couple, whatever the situation is. So we know this is how you work. And we know this makes the world work better and we want to be as much a part of it individually and collectively as you'll allow us to be. So Father, wherever this question lands with us, for those of us who know and have looked away because it's too big, for those who don't know, but wanna know, would you guide us and direct us? Would you open our eyes to see the people in the world around us the way that you do, not the way that we've been maybe taught to? And then give us the wisdom and then give us the courage to step into it, to experience that wonderful, terrible, free fall of saying yes before we know all that yes entails. We're so grateful that you sent your son into this world because our sin broke your heart. So give us the courage to follow you in that way. In Jesus' name, amen.