I have just returned home from a 10 day trip to Burkina Faso, Africa. I saw hunger, disease, hope, joy, generosity. I felt hot, dusty, thirsty, loved, appreciated, encouraged, hospitality, inspired. I was filled with heart-breaking experiences that consumed my heart with compassion. I wish I could put it into one simple post and tell you what what all this means. But I cannot.
My son, Colin, and I are watching The History Channel’s “The Bible” series together. It has been great because he’ll say, “Wait! Pause it! I have a question” or I’ll say, “Oh, hey! Let’s look that up in the Bible” or “Hold on, they didn’t tell you this…” We have looked forward to our Sunday evenings together and have even already made plans to watch this coming Sunday’s final episode together next week since we won’t be home when it’s aired.
One of our favorite moments this week was when Jesus was calling the disciples. He’s telling Peter that he will no longer catch fish, but people. Peter says, “What are we going to do?!” And Jesus replies, “We’re going to change the world.”
Gives me goose bumps every time we say it. Even now as I write it.
We read in the Bible, and I teach the FaithWorks! kids, that those men dropped everything, even their nets right then and there, and followed Jesus. It’s easier to read and teach than do.
I believe that God has a calling on all of our lives. He has created each of us to do something unique for Him. When I say “calling” I don’t necessarily mean “into the ministry.” I mean He has something in mind for us: a specific vocation or has given us a gift or talent that allows us to help others, just to get you thinking…
But I also believe it’s easy to say no to that, or not see what God’s intentions are for your life. Here.
I used to believe that the story of the rich man, the one where Jesus tells him to sell everything he has in order to find treasure, was for, well, the rich. I mean, come on, my family is by no means rich. But we do have mounds and mounds of “stuff” to get in the way of living out what God has in mind for us. How many times do we say, “I don’t have time for that today!” or “Maybe tomorrow?” or “When my kids are out of the house, yes!” or “When I retire…” or even “What does God want for me?” when He’s been pointing me at it all along and I’ve been letting me get in the way. If I’m honest, I’m guilty of all of these.
And being the Lenten season, I think about “giving up” something.
I met some young men who literally may give up everything in order to fulfill their calling as minister’s of God’s Word. These young men are currently living at the Bible school we visited. And these young men know they are on a mission for God.
After four years at Bible school, they will be assigned to a village. Not their home village, but somewhere they’ve never lived before. We were told they will be given a place to live.
These men, most having come to Bible school with a wife and a family, do not know what tomorrow holds for them. But they do know God wants them telling His story.
They don’t have a whole lot to give up to begin with. They come, most likely, from a mud house, dry land, a few cooking utensils and hopefully enough food. And enter into a 10×10 dorm room with sleeping mats, cooking utensils, and hopefully enough food. But they do gamble even that to say, “Yes!” to God.
I don’t think they have a whole lot of “stuff” standing in the way, either like I have here. Tomorrow is a luxury in Burkina Faso.
Might make it easier for them to hear Him say, “We’re going to change the world!”