20 July, 2009

On a mission

I started thinking about writing this blog post this morning. I formulated the entire entry to go over the many reasons why I detest the Metro system. Since the accident, fewer trains are running, the trains that are functional are running on manual controls and about 30 mph less than normal. All of this equals incredibly upset Washingtonians and frustrated commuters. For a city that doesn't say "hi" to each other in the morning and ignores everyone else through their iPod earphones, I would say this is a brand new level of grumpiness.

I was going to post this really long rant about how people were being rude and inconsiderate, pushing excessively on the train, and not obeying social norms (i.e. walking on the left of escalators). Each person who steps on and off those trains each day is "on a mission," as my grandmother would say, to be the first through metro turnstiles, the earliest arrival at their workplace, and the best at getting through their to-do list.

And, I'm no exception. I'm a to-do list junkie. But after listening to Will's sermon at Frontline, I realized that my view of "mission" as a 9-5 job is completely screwed up. My goal for each day is not to accomplish all things on the unending checklist. My mission is to live, love, breathe, serve, and be. And, that is so much more freeing than any other mission I've ever known.

Instead of whining and complaining about the people I see each morning and their inconsiderateness, I need to love them despite their mood and attitudes. When I groan about the fact that our train is stopping for 5 min. at each station, I need to be thankful for a way to work and people who are willing to operate it. I just hope I remember those things over the course of this week.

06 July, 2009

Rekindling fires

This weekend I realized three things that make my heart soar. First, I love watching God be faithful in how He provides extraordinarily so that others will believe Him for bigger things. Second, I'm a sponge when people come back from mission trips and need to simply verbally process. Third, I constantly crave for God to take me out of my comfort zone, and get jealous when He does that in others but fail to recognize it in my own life at times.

On Independence Day, I spent a few precious hours welcoming a dear friend back to the States after her 2 week trip to Tanzania. To be honest, I'm incredibly jealous of her experience. L touched a part of the world that I desparately want to know and constantly pray for. She was able to hold African babies, walk alongside women who needed to know who Christ is, and allowed God to break her heart and humble her spirit. She also had the opportunity to serve people in Southall, London that I embraced 6 years ago. And then, she pushed her physical limits and summitted Mt. Kilamanjaro. Yes, friends... summit. I am inspired by her.

As she spent a few hours describing her trip, her struggles, her joys and fears, one thing stood out the most: She CRAVED for Christ to move in and through her life and wanted Him to have authority, no matter the situation. She shared her story and I was just caught up in the fact that this craving lives in me too. Sometimes the stirring is small, sometimes the rumble is overpowering. At all times, the hunger is there.

I left her house praising God not only for the ways He brought her closer to Himself in Africa, but also for the fact that there are a group of women in my life who exemplify that hunger and thirst for God's word that I strive for as well. There are 10 women(and you know who you are) who give God authority in their lives, the direction of their paths, and their sole goal is to know Him and make Him known among others.

That kind of vision is unstoppable and passionate, and I pray that for that fire in and through my life. Iron sharpens iron, and I long to be around those who want to know Him more and sharpen me through that experience. I love when others around me point others to God by exemplifying His love, and I'm constantly encouraged by those whose desire to know God is unparalleled. I want to engage in that more and more each day. I want to put God first and do His work, His way, no matter what (as the great Hudson Taylor would say).