MISSIONARY SURVIVAL GUIDE #18: FREE AS A BIRD

original_wooden-bird-broochAfter the eighteen entries in this series, some may seriously wonder if the missionary walk is for them. Those who journeyed much further, deeper and longer than me, waving the banners of the gospel, have shared their wisdom and experiences.  Often intriguing, frequently wondrous and other times daunting, their stories beg the question: what does it take to be able to live as one of Christ’s disciples in a foreign world, a culture contrary to one’s own?  Well, in addition to the spiritual necessity of God’s Holy Spirit, I truly believe you need two things: patience and freedom.

Patience may be a no-brainer; learning the language, getting used to the food and then finding the local Mcdonald’s takes time, but freedom?  Freedom from what?  Well, the temporal strings of worry, stress and materialism are killers to a life in pursuit of God’s purpose.  This is true for any disciple of Jesus, but it is especially detrimental to the missions call.  From something as common as a missed train or bus to the news that you’ll be living a year in a hut with seven people; the lack of certainty in everyday life is enough to fill the local airport with standby passengers.  Yet, there is a peace and excitement that can be had in the realization that you have no choice but to lean on God’s everlasting arm.

imagesAm I speaking of poverty?  Of dreams coming to a standstill?  No, I’m speaking of surrendering to the revelation that your life is actually His life, a glowing gift faithfully placed in your hands.  When His fingers have finally snapped those strings the world has taught us are necessary to find satisfaction in life, and the heart, mind and soul are at last ready to follow, there will come a peace and stillness unmatched by any self-help book .  No longer does an itinerary hold control over the terms of your joy, nor the dangerous notion of a net worth affect your self-esteem.  You are simply free.  Free to enjoy life in all the ways the One who made it intended, to go further and burn brighter for Jesus than your older self ever thought possible, the stiff and obsolete mindset having been washed away.  Free to see the biggest, most relevant picture there is, perhaps even from high above where the Lord of all creation sits, if you dare to fly close enough.

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