The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become. --Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia.
He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. --Jim Elliot, missionary martyr who lost his life trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador.
I do not know how it is with those of you who have lived your whole lives following Christ, since you were youngsters at your parents knees. For me, finally ready to follow Christ in my adulthood, I made the conscious choice with great joy and much jubilation. I was so eager to find ways to serve, was so eager to share the good news, and yet so unprepared!!!
I knew little of scripture, knew little of anything actually. I had so much to learn, and I still do. In fact, it has become clear to me that I can spend the rest of my life learning and growing in Christ and I will still have so much more to learn!!
The word mission, in my youth and young adulthood, would have only evoked thoughts of secret agents, mystery, intrigue, excitement and danger. I would have envisioned being the female version of 007 James Bond, or maybe of Simon Templar, The Saint. In reality, I would have been much more likely to be like the goofy, accident prone, Maxwell Smart who was only able to accomplish the goals of his mission through luckily stumbling into positive outcomes.
As I began to open my heart and mind to Jesus, I began to think about completely different types of mission. I wanted to go out into the world and serve, to share Gods word, to find a way to help others. Aren't we suppose to help others, aren't we suppose to share the love of God, certainly I had to do something. I sought out different ways to do this. I found many things that I just wasn't suited to. Serving on committees just isn't me. I get frustrated when it takes too long to get things done, I don't like endlessly discussion to decide the simplest of matters. I know this isn't always the way it is, but sometimes it is, and that is too much for me. I always want to say "Let's make a decision and get it done!" and if others won't, then I will. I tend to take on too much because I just want to "get it done"!
Along the way, I found I am much happier and better suited to being in a more active role. I enjoy, and am good at, serving at meals. I was happy volunteering for Habitat for Humanity with a church group. I am happy lifting, and carrying and setting up for meetings, events, dinners. I am also happy when I can discuss God with others, when I can hear about their journey or tell them about mine, when we can read and study scripture together, and form relationships. I am always looking for new opportunities, to find ways that the gifts He gave me can be used. I am always asking Him to guide me to whatever it is He wishes for me to do.
Next week, I am going on a mission trip with a group from home. I believe I am being called to this, only time will tell. I have prayed about it often, and I am very excited about the trip. When I return, I will share more details.
The thing is.....we are all called to mission, we are all disciples, we are all meant to go out into the world and share the word of God and the love of God. We are meant to do that, and so much more. It may be a mission trip, it may be working at a soup kitchen, it may be teaching Sunday School. The possibilities are endless. They can be in our church, in our neighborhood, in our town....well, you can see where this is going. It can be as close as our next door neighbor or as far as the most distant village on our planet. Talk to God about it, pray for guidance, pray for discernment, and then go out into the world!!! How can we, in good conscience, fail to share the good news, through word and deed. If we truly believe in His unconditional love, if we truly believe in His total forgiveness, if we truly believe in eternal life, then how can we not want to share that news?
Heavenly Father, please guide us and show us how we can carry Your word out into the world. Help us to know how best we can serve You, how we can use our God given gifts to bring all glory to God. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.