I am in my last week as a marketing intern with Off The GRID, where I assisted Norm & Christy with further aligning the OTG brand with what participants experience. I also helped Norm start a social media presence for Off The GRID through Instagram and Facebook. This final week, I have been helping brainstorm a visually appealing layout for the Off The GRID website.
This time away has been filled with so many new experiences, relationships, challenges, and opportunities, and it is sad my time here is coming to an end. During the internship, I have learned so much more than just what to do to market a business; God has truly blessed my time here by providing little things (like going on a three-day solo tramp, mountain biking great trails, and summitting Mt. Arthur) that I never could have planned for.
God has been teaching me since the program finished that I put too much stock in what I do, and not enough in who I am in Christ. I am a perfectionist, and my best is never enough because there is always someone better than me. Also, He challenged me to surrender all I have to Him. While being on Off The GRID for 40 days without any media, I had no way to communicate to my girlfriend, family, and friends. To be honest, I felt very alone at first because I was in a different country with people I didn’t know at all, and I had no way to talk to those I loved and knew. It was tough, but during those first weeks, God was teaching me all I need is Jesus. I was very dependent on God during those weeks, and it got me thinking; God calls us out of our comfort zones because its in those times when we are most dependent on Him. And when we are most dependent on Him, we are most used by Him. But, because God loves us, He gives us the choice to either follow where He calls (no matter how hard it seems), or to stay comfortable where we are. I would strongly encourage stepping out of your comfort zone and follow the Lord, whatever that looks like for you.
That being said, don’t read this and think I have “self actualized” and will never struggle with fear or sin after being on OTG and interning with them. In fact, all this summer has shown me is I am not half as strong as I thought I was, and that is why I need a Savior. God calls me to do my personal best in all I do, trusting that He is “filling in” the inevitable cracks left after I try.
One key truth I have been learning is that God, through my relationship with Jesus, promises to always be with me at all times, no matter what. Not only that, but He loves me no matter what. This has changed the way I live in so many ways. Rather than doing good things because God might be angry or leave me if I don’t, I see He is there regardless. My heart behind living a moral life is not to get on God’s good side, but to be with Him. If sin hurts my relationship with God by distancing me from Him, then I want to do my best to draw closer to Him by living according to His rules. Like any good father, God has rules to protect His children from harm. As a child of God, I want to do my best to obey because I know God loves me, and out of that love are guidelines to protect me. It is similar to the moment you realize, as you look back on your family (if you grew up in a Christ-centered family), that all the rules you hated saved you from so much unnecessary hardship. All of a sudden, you experience immeasurable gratitude toward your parents. This is the same in our relation to God.
Anyway, there are so many things I have been learning in my time here, and I am extremely grateful to all who partnered with me or supported me in any way. I look forward to seeing everyone soon!
Written by Aaron (USA), Off The GRID Intern