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1,000 Strong – Guest Blog and Poem

I’d like to share a blog post and poem my friend, Tanner Olson, wrote for 1,000 Young Leaders. Tanner is a writer, speaker, and spoken word poet. He is the creator of Written to Speak, a project that seeks to spread hope and announce love through written and spoken word.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. – Phil Klopke, 1,000 Young Leader Director


There are days I find myself asking the heavy question: am I doing this life right?

It’s a question pulled from comparison and fear, one that sneaks up only to pull me down a rabbit hole of regret and what ifs. But when I bring this question to Jesus, He meets it with love and quiet understanding. Somedays I wish Jesus would give us a step-by-step way of living, but He doesn’t. However, He doesn’t stay silent, but leaves space for creativity as He reminds His followers time and time again that we are to go, to be, and to love.


To go.

To go and be with the lost, hurting, and hungry.

To go spread hope.

To go and be with the children, the elderly, and everyone in-between.

To go into the uncertain and unknown and do as He has commanded us to do: love God, love people, and make disciples.


To be.

To be present

The light in the darkness.

To be the ones to bring hope to the hopeless.


And to love.

To love the least of these.

To love your co-workers, enemies, and family.

To love those who aren’t sure about this Jesus guy.

To love those on your left and right.


Am I doing this life right?


With honest sincerity, Jesus responds with an invitation and sending.

He invites us to truly live, to live it right by living out our freedom found and in Him and to invite others to know His life-changing truth.

We are only here for a minute.

Let’s get to living.

I’m only here for a minute, and I want to make it count before time runs out.

While I’m here, I want to be present, available, and able to avail,

To live with palms face up among closed fists,

To spread hope in a world where it is hard to exist.

I’m not here to prove I am right but to love the person to my left and right,

To do the small things that matter with humility and sincerity.

Like inviting people to the table to come forward toward a forever.

To connect to the depth of what it means to be forgiven and free,

Standing to see that all of this is from and for all of you.

And when Jesus said, “Follow Me,”

He never said it would be easy.

But He also never sent us alone.

And I know, in all of this, I am not alone.

We go together.

Can you hear the sound of steps multiplying?

1000 strong to continue moving the hope of forever along.

I’m only here for a minute, and I want to make it count.

Tanner Olson


One Response

  1. Karen Moser says:

    Thank you for this poetic and inspiring piece that invites and challenges us!

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