Thursday, October 19, 2006
Photos on the fridge
I got a missions publication in the mail yesterday from an organization with which some of my friends serve. Though I hadn't seen this particular magazine in a few years, I still had a similar default reaction as I leafed through it. I felt guilty. I used to think I felt guilty because I wasn't orienting my life to follow suit with the people in the pictures and stories. I also thought it might be because for years I bought into the idea that God calls everyone to go and since He didn't really tell me to stay or go, then it would be safe to just say that I am disobedient. I also wondered if the guilt had anything to do with a lack of zeal for the condition of the world, and a general hard-heartedness I possessed. I now don't think it was any of these. I feel guilty because its easier to want to be someone other than yourself. I've always carried with me a buried feeling of not being enough to really make God smile. I found it hard to accept that the things I was good at actually had a place in God's Kingdom. God needed preachers of the gospel, not a gardener or a lover of nature or a guy who could make memorable beer and pesto. I constantly compared myself to people who witnessed better, spoke better, served better, led better, and deceived myself into thinking I needed to be like them. God was happier with my friends in Nepal than He was with me. I admire folks who live cross-culturally with the purpose of helping people find faith. I love their newsletters. I read their blogs. I stick their pictures on my fridge. But slowly I am doing away with the notion that I have to be like them. To do so diminishes their giftedness, their calling, their passion and their unique place in the story.. ..as well as mine.