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Jul16TueFour years later, the impact of Boundless 2015 continues to resound in my life. July 16, 2019 by Aidan Turley
(Above) “I’m learning to live for God every day, in every area of my life,” says Aidan Turley
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I don’t remember a time when faith wasn’t part of my life. I was born into a loving, Christian home, and we attended The Salvation Army’s Bracebridge Community Church in Ontario, where I had many wonderful mentors who cared about my spiritual journey. I can’t point to one moment in my life when I became a Christian, but there was a time when I began to take my faith more seriously.
During my final year at the University of Waterloo, Ont., where I studied environmental science and business, thoughts of What’s next? were never far from my mind. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had something to offer, but I wasn’t sure where God wanted me to go or what he wanted me to do.
In February 2015, I received the news that I’d been chosen to attend Boundless—The Whole World Redeeming, an international congress in London, England, to celebrate The Salvation Army’s 150th anniversary. I was thrilled. What better way to end my university career than go to Europe? Little did I know that this trip would light a fire in me.
As I walked into the first session of the congress, there was so much excitement in the air. I remember looking around The O2 stadium, taking it all in and realizing that everyone was there to worship and praise God. It sent shivers down my spine.
But it was something General André Cox said that sparked a change in my life: “Our young people aren’t the future of the Army—they are the Army of today.” That surprised me. As a young person, you’re used to hearing that you are the future, not the present. Growing up in a Christian home, it’s easy to become complacent, because it’s so familiar. General Cox helped me realize that I needed to take responsibility for my faith, to answer God’s call to be his witness in all areas of my life.
When I returned from England, my questions about the future were replaced with a new desire to live on purpose, to embrace my faith and live it to the fullest. I took some time to pray and listen for what I should do. God showed me the importance of investing in the spiritual journey of others, just as many people have influenced and invested in me.
The area that first came to me was youth ministries. I started leading youth events and getting others around me involved in different groups. I took on the college and careers Bible study and the Sunday youth Bible lessons. I joined the divisional youth band and helped the divisional youth chorus from time to time. I continued to participate in yearly mission trips to the Caribbean, but now the focus was more than just constructing buildings—it was building God’s kingdom.
At the same time, I started looking for a job, somewhere I could see myself long term. It was tough. Nothing seemed right, and things didn’t happen in the time frame I wanted. Many nights I struggled to fall asleep. I prayed about it, but it took me a while to realize I was still trying to make something happen. When my prayers changed to “God, you know what’s best and I trust you with this decision,” a huge burden was lifted.
At the moment, I’m working in construction with my father and brother, building and fixing docks, boathouses and cottages in Muskoka, Ont. It’s not the job I set out to get, but I have peace about God’s timing and I’m happy with where I am. I’m learning to live for God every day, in every area of my life—in my conversations, friendships and work.
Being a Christian must inform all of who I am, so that Christ is seen in me. That’s my hope—that others would see Jesus in how I live. At work, I try to be an example on the job site, and to be open to talking about faith with others. People know they can turn to me for advice and have expressed their respect for the choices I’ve made. I’ve had several non-Christian friends talk to me about their struggles and request prayer.
I am a member of the Canadian Staff Songsters, and the song Still reminds me of God’s promises: “When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with you above the storm, Father you are king over the flood, I will be still and know you are God.” Even though I don’t know what’s next, I know who is with me.