America, Asia, Missions, Religion, Travel

Giving Up

Jake says that my life is just one continual series of blonde moments. I think he might be on to something…

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Like this subway selfie I took right after I put on the public lip gloss tester in It Takes Two

Seriously though, I do (almost) everything with a reason and intention. I’ve just been noticing that my reasoning is different than everyone else’s.

On Wednesday night, we’ve been teaching about the Fruits of the Spirit and this past Wednesday, we were going to cover Patience. I was assigned the task of coming up with an activity that the kids could do that went with the lesson. So, I found a game that involves a team stacking cups with a rubber band tied with strings.

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I failed to realize that it would require more patience to tie the strings on to the rubber band than to play the game. I also failed to realize how much time it would take to tie the strings on. So, I was running late to church, as usual. In my rush to get on my way, I thought, I will put these rubber bands with the strings on my wrist so I won’t lose them! See, I was thinking ahead and realizing that it would be very likely that I would lose them between the house and church. So, I put them on my wrist and this is what they ended up looking like.

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Rubber band catastrophe

So much for thinking ahead.

I give up.

I’ve kinda wanted to give up on a few things lately actually.

If you’ll remember: I started this blog really because of a nutrition project I felt led to be involved in. If you’ll also remember: I felt a call to missions a long time ago. And, I committed to that then. I told the Lord I would do that. I would do what He wanted. And, in saying that, what I really said was, I won’t do what I want. Because automatically, when you say yes to God, you say no to self.

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First time in Laos

Lately, though, I’ve felt a pull to give that up. I decided I wanted to stay where I was, focus on work, and in essence, focus on me. Did I actually tell myself that I wanted to give up on what God was doing in my life? No.

What I did say was that I wanted to choose where God was going to use me and how I was going to be used. I still wanted to be used, I just wanted it to be on my own terms. Which is never a good idea. But, I convinced myself that it would all work out just fine.

I mean, surely this commitment to missions that I’d made had an expiration date, right? That’s the way to live your late teens and early twenties. But, eventually, you need to “settle down”. Isn’t that what society tells us?

Plus, God can use me at home, right? I hear people say that to me all the time. And, I believe that 100%. I told myself that He could use me more effectively at home than He could with me tracking myself around the globe. I reasoned it all out and it sounded really good to me. Just like the rubber bands on the wrist thing.

I think I ended up with some tangles in my plan though.Without fully realizing it, my new commitment to serve where I wanted and focus on me meant saying yes to myself and no to God.

The problem was: I decided I was done. The nutrition program was tentatively going to require traveling to Asia twice within a few months. So, I established in my mind that I couldn’t do that. Once, maybe. But, not twice. That was too much. That wasn’t what I signed up for. Those weren’t the terms of my contract when God called me to do mission work.

Then, I heard a word from God. Literally, one word.

Follow.

When Jesus called His disciples from their boats on the Sea of Galilee, He didn’t tell them how long they’d be gone. He didn’t tell them what they were signing up for. He said: Follow Me.

He didn’t continue that phrase with a timeline. He didn’t say: you can go back to fishing after a few years with me. And, it wasn’t a question. Jesus didn’t say: do you want to follow me? Do you want to try it out and see how you feel about it? He didn’t give them an itinerary or a list of terms and conditions.

It was a command.

Follow Me.

And, it’s still our command today. Without question. Without concern.

Follow.

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