Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The meaning of [my] life

I've been doing a lot of self-searching lately, trying to figure out where I want to be in a year.  Where I could, realistically, be in a year.

I just moved into this apartment.  I like its location.  I just started this job, and I [usually] like going into work every day.  So why am I looking ahead; why am I thinking of moving on already?

For many years, I have seen myself leaving town and moving abroad.  It's only been in recent years that the dream has begun to be fleshed out, but I still lack the courage to go.  It's a scary thing, especially when you've lived your whole life in one town.

What if I go to a country where I don't speak the language?  How do I open a bank account in a new country?  Can I even work for wages?  What would it be like to uproot every significant relationship I've ever known?  Everyday things would be new - laundry, cooking, getting from one place to another.  And don't even get me started on the idea of my travelling alone, as a single white female.  The idea of completing ordinary tasks seems exciting and new, giving me a chance to marvel at the simplest of things.  But without warning those same tasks can change to objects of paralyzing fear.

But it seems that everywhere I turn, particularly in church and small group, I keep getting the same message:

Go.  Love.  Be.  Travel.  Orphans.  Fear not.

And yet I fear.  Still I doubt.  Is this really where I am called to go?  Is this really who I am meant to be?

Last week, an interesting idea was presented in our small group.  The quote -

"We were created to glorify God"  [John Piper I think although I can't be positive]

What would it mean to embody this idea, to really live it out every day?  I know that the work I'm doing now is meaningful [actually, it's pretty close to what I would want to do as a career.  I think I only want my location to change].  I also know that one's calling is not necessarily the same thing one does as a vocation.  So why do I still feel so called to go?

That same night, a second question was posted.  This is not the first time I've been presented with this inquiry, but it's not one I find terribly realistic so I've never truly considered it.

"What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"

[Who can imagine a world without failure?  Failure is always a possibility, a scary one.]

What would I do?  I would travel the world, write, create art and not worry about how it's not perfect right away.  I would work with orphans, see and do things, leave a notable mark on the earth and the lives of its inhabitants.

And then tonight, a final thought, related to our small group study of John 6:1-25.  Mission [the work and opportunities we are given by God to accomplish, partnering with Him as His kingdom is realized, whether or not we choose to accept them] precedes faith.  Contrary to our belief, we don't have to have a certain amount of faith before setting out on mission with Jesus.  We don't have to have certain skills perfected; we don't have to have it all together.  Faith is the expectation that God will show up.

Perhaps my calling is not overseas.  Perhaps I am called down the street, to the orphaned of this community.  Perhaps I am called to a community in another state.  I don't know yet [does anyone ever know for sure?], but I'm eager to find out.

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