I hate those days in church when you get all challenged as a Christian and stuff. When you are left squirming in your seat and sort of sulk from the pew after the benediction is said. It was one of THOSE Sundays for me yesterday.
Our pastor introduced us to a nice, healthy, normal-looking 50-something couple, who should be looking to live out their golden years together. The kids are gone, they have some retirement money saved up - the American Dream, right? But, crazy thing is they have uprooted their life, moved from a nice Chicago suburb to lend their gifts and talents to a growing ministry called To Every Tribe, that equips missionaries and church plants. To quote Margie, she said, "I did not want to shine my light for Christ in a room full of light."
So, for me that was a light bulb moment that I wanted to turn off real quick. I immediately sensed the futility of shining a light in a lit room. Woudn't a light be more effective and so much more needed in a dark room? AND if God is calling this nice normal couple into this ministry, what if He does that to me, to us, to our family, what then? It's like a disease you don't want to catch. Just being honest here, people. What if He asks us to give up our comfortable life here that we have worked so hard for and asks us to run off to Africa or something? Oh my. I can feel the panic rising in my chest.
Let's just play it out for a moment. The Captain is, well, a Captain. He would love to land a little airplane onto some grass strip with a really short runway out in the middle of nowhere. He likes that sort of thing. IA Nurse. We might have something to offer in a "missional" type of way. (I don't even want to say the M-word). I have never even been on a mission trip, but I read things in my nursing magazines about health care, or the lack thereof, in the Dominican Republic or countries in Africa and it makes my heart hurt - in a very practical sense. I think maybe I could help a little bit somehow. And if you can help people in that way, maybe you could slip in a good word about Jesus and how He could really help them too. But then I think about snakes and I change my mind. I am so shallow and naive, I know. It still hurts though.
I don't know what it is. Maybe I am somewhat disillusioned with the so-called "American Dream". Pastor Jon also related a quote from Gordon MacDonald in his book, A Resilient Life "One of the saddest experiences is to awaken at old age and discover that one has been using only a small portion of self." That almost makes me panic more. Maybe it's a seed to be nurtured for now. Who knows?
By the way, Ron and Margie are looking for 200 people willing to give $10 a month to help support them in their work with To Every Tribe. Just FYI.