It feels like yesterday I was sitting in my bed at home the night before I left for training in MN. Now, 7 weeks later I’m once again sitting in my bed at home, except for this time, I’m not waking up to go on an adventure for a few weeks, I’m waking up to go on an adventure called “real life”. With Trek7 officially coming to an end, I have completed college, and have no idea what is next. This blog is to try and sum up what I’ve learned these past few weeks, and how I see that impacting the rest of my life. Here goes nothin’:
- First, the major thing that I realized on this trip was not “if” we as Christians are called to missions, but “how” we’re called to missions. Becoming a Christian isn’t a buffet that you can step up to, load up your plate with the salad of salvation, and leave the rest for everyone else to deal with. No, becoming a Christian is devoting your life to furthering the kingdom of God wherever he may have placed you. Becoming a Christian isn’t about getting into heaven, it’s about making sure the people next to you have a chance at it. Before this trip I’ll admit, I viewed doing missions as a possible option for my future, without ever considering God’s future. God has heavily placed on my heart these past 7 weeks the importance of going all out for Him and His kingdom. If I want to call myself a Christian, then I need to live a life worthy of that calling. Now this is not to say that everyone needs to pack up their lives and head on over to hut in a jungle somewhere; but this does mean that everyone needs to lay down their lives and live to serve others & serve God regardless of where they are. I can’t express my excitement for the future, and seeing where serving God leads me.
- Secondly, serving in Costa Rica I got to taste a very very small sample of just how great God’s love is for His people. I have never felt such a deep love for some of those kids as quickly as I did on this trip. If I’m capable of loving people to the point that their struggle and pain literally breaks my heart, imagine how the God who created them feels. This lesson goes right along with the one I just talked about. We are called to advance the kingdom, and love the people. There are kids that I met that I would do anything for, literally anything to give them a better life. And obviously that is not realistic, I can’t solve poverty. But I can tell them about the hope I have found in Jesus, and show them a glimpse of his love.
- The third major lesson that I learned that once again goes right along with the first two is that I’m useless, unequipped, and unneeded. And that’s just how God wants me. I was thrown into a room filled with fast-talking, hyperactive, loud children who didn’t speak my language, and at first I thought I was supposed to communicate with them. I thought I was supposed to help them. I thought I was supposed to save the day. But at the end of the day, speaking English in a room full of Spanish speakers was useless, I wasn’t equipped with the knowledge of their language, and God didn’t need me. If I was any of those things, the glory of saving people would be mine. That’s the best part of it, God doesn’t need any of us, but he loves us so much he wants us to be a part of his amazing story of redemption. He could fix all of the worlds problems in a blink of an eye, but he chooses to use us; as useless, unequipped, and unneeded as we are, he wants us. How can you turn down an opportunity to work alongside the creator of everything? I’ve learned that in every one of my short-comings, God steps in and reveals his glory one more time.
These are the three main lessons I learned this summer, and my prayer is that every person that calls themselves a believer understands what that really means in the grand scheme of things. If you’re a Christian simply because you don’t want to go to hell, you’re missing the point. If your faith doesn’t cause you to live differently than any other person you know, you’re missing the point. If you sit at home and read your bible, go to church every Sunday, but never speak a word about how great your God is to others, you’re missing the point. For so long I’ve been missing the point, and I’m not saying I now have all the answers, but I think I’ve got a pretty good start at learning more. My challenge to every Christian is to step back and evaluate whether or not your life matches up with our calling as believers- to advance the kingdom. Are you pursuing your goals and praying that God comes with you? or are you pursuing God’s goals and praying that others come with you? This is something I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, I encourage you to ask yourself the same.