No matter what stage of life season or predicament we are in, we should always see ourselves on a mission field.
If you have ever raised kids, you might remember the long days of character building, forgiveness, and exhaustion from managing the immaturity of growing humans. You may have thought I was talking about just my kids, but I’m also describing myself. (I’ll never arrive anywhere fully matured till I’m dead)
I’m in the season of child management, I am literally investing a large portion of my life into pruning sour attitudes, talking it out, solving problems and giving advice. I’m also growing and learning right along with those younger people. Sometimes, I have to say I’m sorry and admit when I was wrong.
I’m dancing and hopscotching this parenting jig I’ve never done before, and I’ll be the first to tell you there isn’t a one size fits all program. It’s hard, hard work.
Bottom line is, I’m on a mission field. No, I’m not in a foreign country, but I’m often in foreign thoughts.
No, I am not praying for a plane out of a literal jungle, but I am praying for spiritual guidance and wisdom through my emotional one.
I may not be eating amongst savages of an obscure nation, but often times it sure feels like it when the name calling, dirty-footed, body odor smelling young humans start throwing food at the table.
I have been placed there in the middle of chaos for reasons. Reasons I don’t fully understand yet. I’m just doing what God has asked me to do. I’m going where he asked me to go. It’s stressful and often difficult.
Nothing God asks us to do is easy. This season I am in, raising kids organically… It’s a mission field. Their little souls need guidance to go in the right direction.
My mission field is not just my family. Right now, they take my most concentrated efforts, but someday they will have flown the coop as baby birds tend to do. They will be sent off to grow in their own mission fields, discovering what they were called to do.
However, whoever is in my circle, I can foster and minister to. And I’m looking forward to grandkids, and the more ample time I will have to invest in them building and strengthening our family line.
How long does it take to send an encouraging text to someone? How much time out of your life does it take to send old-fashioned snail mail to a family member, or to someone you know who is sick or hurting? How much of our lives are we sharing and giving to each other? Yes, giving to people we don’t know is generous and all, but what about the people that are closest to you?
People are everything.
Not the ocean and the whales.
It’s people that really matter. The relationships with our people and the people that will become our people. Invest first in those closest to you, building strong ties. Then move out from there and touch people that aren’t as close pulling them into your life more fully. Don’t forget to give to people that you don’t know, but don’t invest in them as much as the ones nearest you.
Your family is your mission field first and foremost.
Start deeply there, then share yourself and give yourself away to others outside your fold.
We are always on the mission field. No matter where you choose to live.
None of us should think we aren’t.