On mission to the world

…that was the title of my Bible study today, and how convicting it was.

I’ve never been an extremely mission-oriented person.  As much as I wish it was, missions is just not one of my gifts.  It’s something I’ve always struggled with and prayed about, consistently asking God to open doors for me and clearly show me where He wants me to go.  And as I’ve thought about the near future, I’ve repeatedly marked off Spring 2012 in terms of doing any sort of mission work.  “I’ll be in Oxford,” was my mindset, “so I won’t be able to serve anywhere over Spring Break or throughout the semester.”

Well, today God slapped me in the face with reality: I should be living a mission-oriented life everywhere I go.  Not just in America and not just on special occasions.

In fact, my study focused on ways communities can impact world missions, including  “Tourists from foreign countries.”  …now, if that’s not convicting, I don’t know what is.  As I’ve been worrying about how much I’m going to get out of the trip, how many places I can go and things I can do, I’ve been putting God off to the side, thinking I’ll get back to serving Him when I return to America.  Wrong.

The author wrote from Jesus’ perspective, saying, “I want you to deny self.  Pick up your cross and follow Me.  I will lead you to places where I am working, and I’ll include you in My activity.  You will be an instrument in My hand so I use your life to touch a world.  When I do that through you, you will truly experience My blessings.”

I’m realizing that God’s blessings do not just lie in the beautiful things I will see.  Of course there are still some specific places I really want to visit (the Eiffel Tower, Swiss Alps, library in Dublin…), but I’m realizing it won’t be the end of the world if I don’t get to go everywhere I want.  It’s much more important–and, honestly, much more exciting–to move based on how God pulls me, rather than based on where I desire to go.  Because even though I’m not “on a mission trip,” I can still have a missional mindset and be spreading truth everywhere I go.

So, even though it will be a real challenge, my prayer is that I will seek out ways to serve Him this coming semester and that I’ll be willing to travel (or stay put) where He leads.  He’s taught me that, “He will involve me in His work anywhere in the world He chooses.”  And for reasons I have yet to discover, the place He’s chosen for me will soon be Europe.  And I can’t wait!

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