On our recent trip to Brazil for World Youth Day, my son brought with him a small purple iPod, like the one pictured on the left. It was an older iPod, he had 'inherited' from me a few months ago when it was determined I don't listen to enough music to warrant owning one. I was hesitant, knowing the crime rate in Rio was rather high, but he assured me he'd take care of it, and I relented.
On the first day, my son announced (only to me), that he would not be listening to any music for the week as a sacrifice, an offering to God for his intentions, during the pilgrimage. Like most teens, music is an important part of his daily life and I was impressed by this decision - especially because it came completely from him. Offering a sacrifice for the many people whose prayer requests we had brought, as well as for his own spiritual growth was never discussed or encouraged, yet he was very convicted it was what he was called to do. Little did he know at that moment, just how completely God would take him up on that offer.
Monday night as we packed to return home, Ian discovered the iPod was missing. We turned his room upside down, and then I ransacked my bags. It was gone. He remembered coming in on the first day, and hiding it under things on the little desk, but in retrospect, thought perhaps his headphones were showing a little. Although we had discussed the importance of locking things up, he had innocently assumed that meant locked in his room. Sadly, that was not the case. At first he was very upset, mostly because he felt he had let me down after I had warned not to bring it in the first place. After all we'd be through that week, an iPod and headphones seemed very inconsequential - and we decided through prayer and contemplation that whoever took them, and risked their employment, probably needed them much more than he. It was an expensive lesson, but one that made sense to protect much more expensive equipment in the future - especially for someone looking to make a living some day traveling and recording the world he discovered.
As I pondered the experience, I couldn't help but think of this silly story we had discussed on the plane flying to WYD. We were talking about being all in when it came to different things, and I thought about breakfast. The chicken gave to the meal but the pig was all in. That is what became of my son's sacrifice of music, while he thought he'd give this offering for his intentions, God instead, called him to be, all in.