At this point of our year, we are beginning to have conversations about our future.
What should we do? Where should we go? What are we passionate about? How are we gifted? What would be fun? What gets us out of bed in the morning? Do we want to be close to family? Do we want to home-school? What constitutes God's call? Where is God calling us? Where are we most needed? Where is the world most hurting?
Those are but a tiny sampling of the questions we are currently pondering.
But what I would love to do now, is share with you one decision we desire deeply to not make.
Adoniram Judson wrote a letter to missionaries on June 25, 1832. This is what he said:
"Beware of the greater reaction which will take place after you have acquired the language, and become fatigued and worn out with preaching the gospel to a disobedient and gainsaying people. You will sometimes long for a quiet retreat, where you can find a respite from the tug of toiling at native work--the incessant, intolerable friction of the missionary grindstone. And Satan will sympathize with you in this matter; and he will present some chapel of ease, in which to officiate in your native tongue, some government situation, some professorship, or editorship, some literary or scientific pursuit, some supernumerary translation, or, at least, some system of schools; anything, in a word, that will help you, without much surrender of character, to slip out of real missionary work. Such a temptation will form the crisis of your disease. If your spiritual constitution can sustain it, you recover; if not, you die."
I read this, and to be totally honest, I threw the book about 15 feet across the room.
See, when I really think about it, I want a cushy, easy life. I want a big yard, with a basketball hoop. I want a swimming pool, and a maid. I want a job that feels like anything but work; one that makes me wake up each morning with an extra pep in my step. I want to live in a safe, close-knit community where the biggest drama is who is bringing what for the next block party potluck. I want a huge personal library--think the castle from Beauty and the Beast--where I can invite long-time friends over for deep conversation and some hot-beverage. That shiny new iPhone? I'll take it!
I want my geese to lay golden eggs for Easter. I want a feast…. I want the world. I want the whole world!
Now, here me, having nice things or a job that makes me spring out of bed are not necessarily bad. They just aren't always, or even usually, the Christian thing.
We will not make a decision to settle for things of this world. We will make no bargains or surrender our character. We will not take a cushy job just because it will mean a lack of hardship or pain or grief. We will refuse to make our next life decision based on comfort or ease.
We will not make the decision to go the easy route.
We are so tempted to just take life easy, go ahead and grab that white picket fence, take those extra vacations.
But we just cannot do so faithfully -- not long term anyways.
The world is in too much pain, and we have seen it. The gospel is too powerful and far too good, and we have tasted it. The need is too great, and we have felt it deeply. And God's glory is far too valuable for us to cheapen it by living our lives in any manner but a full-throttle, pedal to the medal, carry-our-cross-come-what-may sort of manner.
God is far too good for any other sort of life-response.
Would you consider joining us in not making a decision about your life for comfort or ease?