Monday, May 16, 2011

Mission Monday: What's It Mean, Anyway?

So with the arrival of my new Mac, I have a computer in my room (albeit no internet access)! Guess what that means? (Hopefully) more blog posts and writing opportunities! With this in mind, I’m starting a few new ideas for this blog. First up--devotionals on the weekends. Second-- “Mission Monday,” this new “column,” for lack of a better word (yes, I’m stuck on editors’ jargon, lol) on mission-minded posts and thoughts. Sorry if you get tired of it--you don’t have to show up on Mondays if you don’t want to hear my random mission-minded wanderings. :) But there is our introduction. Let’s get on with our first Mission Monday post.

What is mission? I know most of the time when I think of the word “mission,” I think of the word “missionary.” And when I think of a “missionary,” I think of someone who lives in the United States, Canada, or maybe western Europe (commonly referred to as the “first world”), receives a call from God to go to some developing country, leaves his home, and goes to live in that developing country, where he does...things. Missionary things. Yeah. You know what I mean. Right?




Being a doctor

That’s missionary stuff--if you are in some “non-first world” country and are working for a church. You’ve read the books, or at least heard the names: Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael. Those are missionaries.

But me? I’m not a missionary. Not yet, anyway. Maybe sometime later. I mean, I’m just a homeschool graduate, working
in a deli this summer, trying to keep my room clean (that used to be a fairly easy job!), helping out at home when I can. I can’t even get full-time work right now! I’m not a missionary, for sure.

Or am I? (You knew that paragraph was a purely rhetorical statement, right?) If you just look at the word, what does missionary mean? I’d be inclined to say, “Someone who has a mission.”

Do I have a mission? Hmm. Seems I do.

“So then, all of you go to all the nations, making disciples and baptizing them in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And I am with you all for all of the days [every day, all the time], until the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:29, 20--my translation of the Spanish Nueva Reina-Valera [N-RV]version)

All of you go. I think that includes me...and if that’s not a call to mission, I don’t know what is. Perhaps I am a missionary.

No, I may not be Amy Carmichael today, but in a few years that might be me. I may not be Elizabeth Elliot today, but perhaps in five or ten or twenty years I may be called to witness to those who killed my husband as he was trying to reach them. And...if I’m not holding God’s standard high in my own life today, as I work with high school students, college students, adults, and the enormous variety of people I meet at my job and elsewhere, will I be ready if and when God calls me to something great?

I think not. I think He notices these little things I’m doing, just as much as if I were some famous overseas worker.

“He who is faithful in the very small things will also be faithful in more; and he who is unjust in the very small things will also be unjust in more.” (Luke 16:10, N-RV)

Even cleaning my room!

And doing my best with jobs I don’t like, either at work or at home.

And keeping a good attitude.

And focusing on God--not just what He would like me to do (though that is important), but Who He is and what He’s done
for me. Nothing like remembering that to give you a good attitude!

So then, what is mission? I’d like to suggest that it’s being ready for whatever God asks me to do, no matter how small or big it is--whether it’s mopping the floor or giving a Bible study, helping a customer or preaching an evangelistic series, talking to a friend or being the communications specialist for a mission organization. Because really, mission--my mission, and every other Christian’s--is being open and available for God to use me to reach out to others, whoever and wherever they are. Preaching or talking one-on-one, teaching kids in my church or on the other side of the world, working in the United States or overseas, at home or outside. Wherever God calls--that’s mission.

Next Week: Mission Monday-- What do the last verses of the book of Matthew mean to us today? Are they only a call from God to reach out to others? Or is there more? Join us for “Unpacking the Great Commission,” next Monday!

1 comment:

TN Quiltbug said...

Looking forward to next Monday already! :)