I shake my head in disbelief and yet in wonder, because It was just two years ago today that Instagram Is released. Even two years later I think it is still relevant to our culture. I never knew a college project would influence people around the world. I wish I could go back and tell the boy that created that film what would come of such a small and seemingly insignificant decision. To say that my life has changed would be an understatement. You may think I sound crazy stating that creating a documentary would change my life, but there's a larger story going on. And there's only One to receive the glory.
There tends to be this common thread in my life of passing encounters and thoughts. It seems as though God calls to me in a quiet whisper and a gentle nudge. It's an invitation into adventure ... into the unknown ... into the larger story. And it is waiting to be revealed upon my acceptance. The invitation didn't come in this grand package and won't be achieved in my own ability, strength or timing. But by listening for the whisper, accepting the invitation and following His voice it will come to pass.
Now I look back and see how every decision good and bad was connected and built to a tipping point in my life. I never would have imagined that a simple decision to pick up a camera at 12 to creating a fake movie trailer would lead me to where I am today ... but it did ... and it's part of my story. I look back now and see the leading of the Holy Spirit throughout every decision in my life. Even if I didn't know what I was really doing or why I was doing it.
It was 1995, I can see myself kneeling at the couch in the house I grew up in praying to accept Jesus. When I said yes and invited Him to be the King of my heart, He invited me into this mythic and mysterious life. He's brought the dreams written on my heart to life, He's carried me through the toughest storms of loneliness and brought me to the end of my own ability and strength. Saying yes to Jesus meant saying goodbye to a God-given dream job and hello to a new world of ministry. Saying yes meant saying no to many things the world says yes to every day. Saying yes meant saying yes to giving up control of my life. I never said life was easy but, it is worth it ... Being in a close and personal relationship with the God of the universe makes it all worth it.
Socality started as a random text message in December 2013 from a stranger, now friend, named Scott Bakken who had heard about Instagram Is. I met one of my closest friends when his business partner sent me a Facebook message because they had seen Instagram Is. I spoke for the first time to a big group of people and began to travel the country because of that one decision. I even quit my job because of it.
But this never really was about a movie, an organization or any one decision, I know now. It was about the people. It was about discovering who God created me to be. And most of all understanding the depth, breadth and width of His love for me.
It's not been easy, the road is narrow and my strength is gone, but I have a little platoon of men surrounding me, the wisest guide leading me the strongest Father walking beside me.
Glory to God.
I'm so glad I said yes.
Check out Instagram Is below.
Paul Tellefsen is a storylistener, lover of people and photographer who strives to help people live fully alive.