Tuesday, July 21, 2015

wherever you are

I'm sitting near the airport in Hyderabad, India.
I'm eating cheese crackers and I'm thinking. 

Maybe a lot of us live our lives thinking that God is pretty bummed with us. 
Maybe we think things like this,
"If I could only love God like them, then I'd be a world-changer and God would be so proud. But I'm not sure I can ever get there."

And maybe all of our thoughts that sound like this are wrong. Really wrong.

My lifestyle is a pretty odd one. Sometimes I'm living in America, doing stuff like waiting tables, inviting people to church, and making friends. Other times I'm in Southeast Asia, doing stuff like serving Wings International, trying to not get lost in Hong Kong, and making friends. The friends I make in America tend to look like  middle-class folks who enjoy doing things like going on coffee dates. The friends I make in SE Asia tend to look like little people without biological moms and dads to raise them who enjoy doing things like holding my hand. 

And here's what I'm getting at:
it's easy for me to think my life matters more while I'm in SE Asia than it does when I'm in America. But that easy-to-think thought is a wrong-to-think thought. Because it's a lie. That's why.

I guess the reason I feel like typing these words with my cheese-stained fingers right now is because I want all my friends (you're my friend if you're reading this) who are living pretty normal lives  to know that your pretty normal life is totally completely important. 

God's been teaching me some big major lessons over here in India and one of the lessons has to do with correcting my view on what makes me important. I always feel most important when not only I'm in India, but when I'm alone in India, doing my own preaching, setting my own schedule, loving orphans by myself, and looking at myself as a little mission-field movie star. Oh boy. 

For these past 2 1/2 weeks in India, I've been with a team of people, of which I am not the leader. That means my pride/independence/mission-field-movie-star-ways went into shock, had a heart attack, and died. 

I have felt God whispering stuff like this to my heart,
"Sitting down and praying for the preacher is as significant in My Kingdom as standing up and preaching."

He's also done a lot of whispering about teamwork and humility and submission. I'm not yet the queen of these things, but I'm getting there. And God (and my teammates) are patient

So I figured I wasn't the only one who gets into some wrong thinking about what makes me significant. And I know how I often feel when I'm in America or not surrounded by orphans while in SE Asia. The behind the scenes stuff, like praying and submitting and giving and encouraging and learning--all while no one's looking--that's the stuff that matters. 

I think God is not so concerned with titles and positions and is a lot concerned with loving us and teaching us how to love Him back. That often looks like unglamorous activities that don't "feel" important but are so, so important.

Hey. Let's keep going. Wherever in the world we're at, whether surrounded by orphans or surrounded by office desks, let's learn how to love and to know that God thinks about us as often as He thinks about Mother Teresa.  And before we know it, our hearts will be as big as hers. 

"I don't think God is giving me the silent treatment because He's mad. I think God's hope and plan for us is pretty simple to figure out. For those who resonate with formulas, here it is: add your whole life, your loves, your passions, ,and your interests together with what God said He wants us to be about, and that's your answer. If you want to know the answer to the bigger question--what's Gods plan for the whole world?--buckle up: it's us. 
We're not here to let everyone know what we agree and don't agree with, because, frankly , who cares? Tell me about the God you love; tell me about what He has inspired uniquely  you; tell me about what you're going to do about it, and a plan for your life will be pretty easy to figure out from there. I guess what I'm saying is that most of us don't get an audible plan for or lives. It's way better than that. We get to be God's plan for the whole world by pointing people toward Him."
-Bob Goff, 
(I'd recommend you all read this book)