Almost 4 years ago now my wife and I went to the other side of the world on a missionary journey where we posed the question: Is this where we will live the next 20 years of our lives?
It was a grandiose idea. We were young and passionate and eager to be used for God’s Kingdom; We didn’t know what that looked like, but we figured it was big, so why not be missionaries? I mean, that’s big right? That trip went much differently than we thought it would go. And ended especially more so. And to be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what it was about. But we learned from it.
When I was in another country, researching to find out if it was feasible for us to live there and prepare a cross-cultural training ground, I was facing down several challenges that were all new to me.
- The people spoke a different language
- They people were from a different culture
- The people were entirely ignorant of the gospel of Christ, and to them, Christian was literally a reference to their enemies.
- I had no experience doing any of this
As mentioned previously, we were young and eager, but somewhat naive. Being there felt so heavy and so overwhelming that I remember realizing the following:
I traveled half-way across the world to be used for God’s Kingdom, and I don’t even know my own neighbor’s name.
When our plane landed in the states, I remember thinking, “If I can do it there, I can do it here. I’ve got to be more intentional about the way I live.”
So weeks go by, I get busy, I forget. I continue on with life, as we all do, going from day to day, without thinking about my direct community. Then (four years later) I start looking through one of my old journals, I see my notes from after we got back from our trip. In the margins of church notes I scribbled: To be a Christian is to be a missionary.
The point is, I believe Christ has a plan to redeem all things. And he has invited us to be part of this process. Missionaries are the ones who are seen as being involved the most. But why just them? Isn’t it on all of us? The question kept coming up in my mind again and again:
If I believe that Christ really does have the ability to change the world, that He brings about world change, how is my world changing?
And that’s the question I want to intentionally ask myself. How is my world changing? If the answer is: it isn’t. Then maybe I’m not doing something right.