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.