I’m slouched in the black plastic chair– barely comprehending that this moment is colliding with my present.
“These are the books you are going to be reading about how YWAM started…” our DTS leaders announce as they start handing out those dark-blue paperbacks I know too well. My fellow classmates in the front row turn them curiously over, taking it in by its cover, wondering what’s in store (trust me, you’re in for a treat!).
However, Amy and I just look at each other– with that amused camaraderie that only we share on our first week of DTS.
Here we are, living out the cliche.
As a YWAM kid, I don’t remember when I first remember hearing about DTS. I do remember finding out that Loren Cunningham “invented” DTSes (my six-year-old understanding)– he spoke often at Thursday Night Meetings, or, Friday Nights back then. To me, YWAM was something that had been in existence far longer than him or my parents. Every YWAM base was as large as my Kona campus, and a Discipleship Training School was a normal thing to do when I grew up.
So to have Is That Really You, God? handed to me and a fellow YWAM kid (us, who used it as a text-book source in high school) is a little surreal. Almost a little too cliché. No, I haven’t read it in awhile so I am looking forward to hearing those stories afresh– now that I am in the thick of missions life and in my early twenties. I don’t like the mentality that oh, if you’re YWAM kid you “know everything”– because even if I know more about missions, it doesn’t mean I’ve been living every aspect of it out. There’s always far more to learn than I realise.
Yet, in our first week of DTS, Amy and I found ourselves in the backyard with ukulele and guitar in hand. Fumbling with chord charts and tricky harmonies, there was a moment that it hit us.
“This is so… cliché!” we exclaimed together, and just about died choking on our chuckles. We’d grown up all our lives watching DTS students hanging out with their instruments, on repeat. Now– really, it is us? You might think that we just stopped right then and there, and went and did something a little more unique (like eat out of the bread bin). However, I continued, “This is so cliché– but the funny thing is, I’m loving it!” .
And it’s true. I’m loving it. Come DTS worship night– and I’m revelling in the snowfall of crumpled tissues, the scribbling of prophetic words in my journal, the cries of students from all around the world singing that we will go wherever He calls us.
Livin’ out the cliché, I comment to Amy yet again. We smile at each other, with happily tear-stained faces.
Jesus sure has a sense of humour– helping me realise the clichés were actually my dreams, too.
And no longer are they just dreams.
This is real life.