So, in the last post, I discussed a ton of what I was doing down in Mexico but I did not really approach the subject of what God was doing in my heart. This, I thought, was significant enough to make a different post, (he’s kind of a big deal).
Way #1: Family. He gave me a sense of family.
Some people struggle with first appearances. Some struggle with long term relationships. I don’t really struggle with either. I am pretty good at making a good first impression (just ask my girlfriend’s parents! haha, jk). I also have some amazing long-term friendships! Instead, I struggle with that in-between spot. The time that is more than a couple weeks but less than a year. I remember thinking to myself: the second year that I am in a school was always the best. The first year was always the worst. It was a main reason why I switched colleges after my freshman year. I was not feeling at home or feeling a sense of family. I am positive that if I had stayed for a second year it would have been amazing! Instead, I backed out pretty fast and went looking for family else where. I felt the exact same way at the next school but was fortunate to have the sense not to move again. Again and again I felt it. I wanted to leave my new school in second grade, leave in seventh, leave during freshman year. When I finally had the opportunity to decide for myself, I jumped for it!
. . . SO . . . here I am at Covercrest. I am expected to be a part of a family within weeks. This means that the natural growth of a relationship, which might usually take a year or two, is sped up to a very rapid pace. I am pouring out my soul to people who I don’t know anything about. I am eating with them for almost every meal, praying for hours with them, working alongside them, and trying to share with them.
But how much do I really know about this family. I know a little bit about their past from stories or pictures, but I am not a part of the past. I am not a part of those stories. They are full of strangers and unfamiliar events, traditions, and unfamiliar memories. . . . This is what I struggle with. Without familiar memories, I am unable to relate and unable to feel a deep sense of community. Other people are great at it. They can enter into a new community and immedietly feel a sense of brotherhood or sisterhood. But for me it usually takes time. A LOT longer than a couple months.
Wrapping this up. . . God really provided on this trip. I am coming home with a sense of family that I haven’t felt in a long time. I dunno what happened but I am suddenly looking at Mark and JJ in a new light. I FEEL that they are brothers of mine. I am no longer just saying it. And I honestly LOVE them with a deeper conviction. There is comraderie in our discussion, our prayer, our time together. The same goes with the girls. The same goes with the Mesa team. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t struggles. God is just making those struggle more worthwhile in my eyes. I dunno if I am the only one who felt it. We are a true family now and it is going to be amazing to see how this family grows.
Way #2: Responsibility. He gave me a real sense of responsibility for my fellow humans.
“Missions to the Church is as burning is to fire.” I have a responsibility to be missionary (everybody does). I don’t care where you are in life, you need to be spreading the Gospel. And the Gospel is LOVE. But, how do you spread love without caring about our brothers and sisters who are suffering in other countries? How can we call ourselves a missionary if we live our lives without seeing the pain and discomfort of others?
This doesn’t mean that we all need to leave our homes and go to another country and live in a hut (although. . . how AWESOME would that be!). No. BUT, I am saying that the care of others need to take a more prominent place in our lives. NOT something that comes up a couple times a year.
SO, what do I do?
I think John Piper once broke it down into three job: Prayer, Giver, Goer. Do I commit myself to praying for the people, giving to the people, or going to the people? AND, its not like one job is easier.
Prayer: By prayer, I mean that I am committing massive amounts of time just to pray. ALL three jobs need to be conducted out of my need, not out of my excess. That means, I don’t just pray when I feel comfortable and when I can fit it in. I move my schedule around my prayer. I make my time and schedule feel VERY uncomfortable because I am committing so much time to prayer (sound like an easy job?).
Giver: The giver has an easy discernible job because it means giving physical things. BUT, once again, it is out of my need that I give, NOT my excess. I can’t feel comfortable with the money that I get because it means that I am feeling comfortable while others (who probably work harder than I) are not. So, I need to give until it hurts!!! AND, the giver job is not just for the rich! No matter how much money I make, I would need to give in all cases. . .
Goer: I will be honest, this is the job that really speaks to me. This job, some might say, is the hardest. But I don’t know about that. All three jobs ask a lot of people. BUT, I do know that this job might be the most rewarding. To be working one on one with people in poverty and experiencing their joy is such a blessing. A Goer has to rely completely on the graces of God. There isn’t a ton of money to be had in mission work (obviously). It takes more trust and faith that God will provide.
I dunno, which I am yet. But I do know that God has opened my eyes to see his children. And now that they are open, it impossible to shut them from the responsibility that I have now.
Merry Christmas and God Bless