I’ve been on sabbatical since July 1st. It’s been a great time to be rejuvenated and reconnect with God. I’ve also started seminary and it has literally blown my mind in many ways. This sabbatical has allowed me to have bigger vision and bigger dreams. However, I’ve felt antsy since I don’t have a ministry context to apply what I’ve been learning since I am on sabbatical. I feel like a basketball player who’s been relegated to the bench and I’m like “Put me in coach! I’m ready to go back in!”
As I finish up my sabbatical, the them of “speaking up!” has been coming up. I have been hoping to develop my prophetic gifts. Is there space for me to do this? I’ve been thinking about this returning to college ministry. A few years ago, I was fortunate to be a part of InterVarsity cohort of up and coming Asian American staff in the nation called the Daniel Project. That experience changed my life in so many ways. It was the impetus for me to dream big. My dreams were so small before the Daniel Project. I only knew what was around me and I just went with the flow. However, I’d be angry because I wouldn’t speak up of what I wanted and needed. Through the Daniel Project, I learned the importance and necessity of speaking up. It was a great experience to hear other people in the cohort with speaking up and telling people about their dreams and what they really wanted. Since that time, I’ve been learning how to speak up. At different moments, the Holy Spirit has been telling me “Speak up!!!”
During this sabbatical, I have been experiencing that so much. “SPEAK UP!” So as I finish up my sabbatical, I’m ready to come back and “speak up!” Of course, I’m a broken vessel who will still need to learn how to do this well. However, in my recent experience, if there’s a choice between speaking up and staying silent, usually speaking up has yielded the best results. When I stay silent and keep my dreams and prophetic words to myself, I end up being angry at myself for not saying anything. Also, if the Holy Spirit is really speaking to me, other people miss out on what the Spirit has to say through me. I say this not in an arrogant way but as a way to acknowledge to each other when the Holy Spirit is speaking through people.
So as I await my return from my sabbatical, I am ready to “speak up!” The Holy Spirit brings us joy and empowers to live out our God-given dreams through our God-given vision. I’m ready to get back in coach! I’m at the scorer’s table. I look forward to what God has store for me as I “speak up!” Especially to my Asian American brothers and sisters, speak up when prompted by the Spirit. Speak up about your hopes and dreams. Speak up about what you need and what you want. Let’s release all our anger, resentment, and fears to unleash all the hopes, dreams, and longings that we have hidden inside the deep core of hour hearts. Once the Spirit moves, the Kingdom of God becomes unleashed and its transformative and redemptive power cannot be harnessed.