Elected Officials

Garbage?


Quinton Cools December 21, 2018
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This post was written by TeenPact Student Body Vice President Toby DeMoss of Pennsylvania.

 

 


 

Dearest Friends,

 

Six months ago I was standing in front of nearly one-thousand of you, shoulder to shoulder with my wonderful friend and running-mate, Carissa Gould.

 

What a journey it was, and oh, what a grand conclusion. Red, white, and blue confetti is still stationed in the front pocket of my blue suit. I can still feel the vibrations of the room and the hugs of our competitors as the final results appeared on the big screen. No price tag on the memories that Carissa and I have collected could be too steep. And for that we thank you.

 

As your TeenPact President and Vice President, Carissa and I have been showered with support and are incredibly grateful and humbled by the positions we’ve been entrusted with. As this semester comes to a close, and a new season appears on the horizon, I would like to share with you a story, and if you choose to stick around, I may just hit you with a bucket full of necessary, life-giving truth.

 

On the evening of May 26, after the festivities had died down, and the uproar had retired to a lull, the time for bed had come.

 

As I made my way back to my dorm, Robby Whaley, the most devoted and invested campaign manager the TeenPact world has ever seen, walked by my side.

 

“Toby, you’ve just achieved something absolutely incredible,” he excitedly began, “You are now the Vice President of the TeenPact Nation. This is crazy. How are you feeling?”

 

I stopped walking. I looked at him. And I said, “Robby, I feel like I’m a human being.”

 

I feel like I’m a human being.

 

And it was true! It was immensely gratifying, seeing nearly six months of work – from conception to completion – end in such a favorable manner. Never before in my life had I poured so much of myself into one thing. So much brain power, focus, and energy was devoted to this campaign.

 

So many late nights trying to understand chain-migration and assimilation, innumerable phone calls and GroupMe’s, and countless hours of help from hands nationwide, from Washington to Waco, Nashville to New York. We had accomplished something far bigger than I had previously imagined possible for someone of my age.

 

But here’s the thing: I was still a human. I was still Tobias Leonard Schalkwijk DeMoss. And my purpose was still to worship God in extravagant love and extreme submission.

 

I can picture the apostle Paul as he writes, shouting truth through the ages, with a voice still strong as it echoes on to us, the 21st century. In Philippians 3:8 he states, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ…”

 

I consider them garbage, that i may gain christ.

 

Now this letter may seem odd to you, but I assure you, by no means am I saying that this vice presidency is bereft of value; on the contrary, it is priceless. With it comes a platform, an opportunity, a chance to influence the world.

 

Now the question is, how will I use my influence? If it is used for personal gain – for fame and fortune and fun – it is rubbish. If it is used for Christ – for His glory, and His glory alone – then it touches eternity. If I surrender my title to the one who gave it to me, and if I love Him extravagantly, I am choosing well.

 

No, your title probably isn’t Vice President of TeenPact, but you do have influence somehow, somewhere. And today, this very day, you have a choice. Will you use your influence to gratify your own wants and desires, or will you surrender your will to the ever-gracious God we serve? Will you cling to what you want, or will you open your fists and lay down your life?

 

Will you open your fists and lay down your life?

 

There is no in-between. Lukewarmness is not an option. Our lives are not our own. We have been bought with a price, with the blood of Christ. Fully God, fully man, he humbled himself to death, even death on a cross, so that you and I might live.

 

Hold back? Give me a break. I’m letting loose. I have seen the ways of man and I have tasted the goodness of God, and I can say without a doubt that the latter is infinitely better. I have decided to follow Jesus, and there is no turning back.

 

I would like for you to step away from this screen and spend a minute in prayer. Thank the Lord for who He is and what He has done. Ask Him how you can submit to Him and love Him better. The Lord finds joy in you. He wants to speak with you. And if you seek Him with all of our hearts, you will, in fact, find Him. Join me in saying “Jesus, take it. You can have it all.” Because anything less than everything we are is not enough.

 

Press Pause. Step back. Reevaluate your life, and realign yourself with the Rock. And once you’ve have done that, forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, you can Press Play, confidently living a life of worship to the only one who is worthy of it.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Student Body Vice President Toby DeMoss

 

 

About the Author

Quinton Cools

Quinton Cools grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and like any true Oregonian, he can identify the perfect cup of coffee. He is the fifth of nine… Read More

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