How long are you staying in Cyprus?
We get asked that a lot. We tend to answer with contractual obligatory details. But, we typically leave this open ended. Not sure this satisfies the interrogator. It is peace….for us. Time and location are no longer within our desire to control, on good days. Certainly this produces some discomfort in missing family, friends and our home culture, in tandem with this is the miracle of certain peace.
A good third of our life (pending normal expectancies) has been spent procuring the place, position, domicile and monetary idols, which our world deems as normal. Get a bit more, stay a little longer, and make it softer and bigger. Yep, we were the picture of the American dream. Peace it wasn’t. And, the moments when we drift back towards this elicits a bit of chaos within our family.
Changing this perspective was miraculous. Not of us. But by Him who busted a major miracle in our hearts. I (Dan), specifically, am hell bent, literally, on consuming this world…in my natural self. Thankfully, there is a war between that and my new self, in Christ. The opposite of peace is…not something I want. Had enough, really.
This next one we get asked from the Christian community and the response is for them, specifically:
Don’t you think you could be missional in your home context?
Abso-explicatively-lutely!!! Yes, please, let us be missional wherever we are. By missional I mean, actively loving, dying to ourselves, living for the benefit of others more than ourselves, becoming less, encouraging others to lead, getting dirty and tired. This is what missional is. I am trying to be this way where I am. It’s a serious battle. But, I wonder if my question in return should be, if I was a bit more blatant in-person, “Sure, but are you? Really? How?”
This is on my mind because I sit here on the verge of overwhelmed. Yes, I know, God provides, in His infinite wisdom, according to His perfect timing. I know this. I don’t doubt God. But just as I doubt myself, I wonder if there are those out there, like me, that maybe need to be nudged to seriously analyze their time spent on this rotating sphere of ours.
The source of my burden today is that I look at the tasks at hand, in discipleship, our main ministry, local church and friends serving across the globe and see that there isn’t one area that is sufficiently staffed. The harvest may be bountiful but the workers are surely few. I wonder, is that the way it is meant to be? Or, are there more of us that should be working hard at the harvest in all locations? This is, most assuredly, between the individual and God. I don’t want to get in your business. But, can I ask you for a favor? Could you be sure that you spend time today praying about how, where and when you are using the talents and gifts God has graciously given you? Because, well, He did – give them to you.
As I look across the needs that I know of, there is ample room for writers, accountants, people who are good at Bible study, praying folks, baristas, media and social media professionals, teachers, building and maintenance skilled workers, engineers and IT specialists. The need for people across all skill sets, who are actively engaged in the Great Commission of disciple making, is overwhelming. As sure as God’s providence is, I also think that man’s ability to be disobedient, intentionally or not, is also certain. This post isn’t meant to produce guilt. But, it’s meant to simply ask you to pause, pray and listen to see if maybe you are absolutely where He wants you. If the answer is “yes”, then please share here the testimony of your missional context. If the answer is “no” or “not sure”, ask Him more questions like, “how?” “where?” “when?” and “with whom?”
The reason for my boldness isn’t really, or simply, feeling overwhelmed or stressed. But, seeing His harvest hanging on the vine, untended is Crushing. My. Heart. The gifts of grace, mercy and love from Jesus for me are too valuable to horde. Don’t we all long for this to be introduced to those around us? We should. And, it should show in our lives. Right?!
Share your context in a comment below. Share how this conversation with God is going, too? How can we pray and encourage you? Challenge me…that’s ok too. We’re family.