I don’t know if you’ve ever had one, but there are those moments in life that hit home and break our hearts, or make us realise there is a better or different way to live. Moments of clarity on how life really is.
I have met a lot of people who have ventured overseas to go on mission in the hope of changing the world – a hugely valid and hopeful aspiration…often what happens is that they are changed far more than they thought possible.
My wife, Chloe, went on mission a few years ago to Kenya. Her first day there was…interesting…they were taken to the slum where they were going to be working, and shown around. Walking back home at the end of the day, Chloe was feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the sights, smells, heat and general this-is-way-out-of-my-comfort-zone experience of her first day in the developing world. She turned around to say something to a team member and promptly fainted, falling backwards into the open sewer running through the street.
An amusing (for everyone else) but less than ideal start to 3 months in Kenya.
I bet you wonder why I tell you that story, when trying to encourage you about going to experience the developing world.
Well, whilst the start of the trip was horrible, it was on that trip to Kenya that Chloe had many of those experiences that changed her.
Not just changed, but transformed – an opening of the eyes; a breaking of the heart; ultimately a re-ordering of priorities of life which inevitably happen when we’re elsewhere, when we’re serving and working alongside the poor. I tell you the story, because Chloe wouldn’t change her Kenya trip for anything… despite the hideous start, it was an experience that changed her for life and continues to affect the way she lives now.
And I think we all need those experiences.
It’s very easy to stay in our (fairly small) world and to not venture out beyond our comfortable existence. But, I reckon, that is in the stepping out where we start to know God in a deeper way. As we go beyond our own abilities, we are forced to lean on him. And, as we do so, we get to know him more, learn of his hopes for this world and we experience true transformation.
The world in which we live is pretty broken, some would say beyond repair. But I believe that we serve a God who can (and continually does) transform any situation, anywhere, at any time.
But I also believe that He wants to use us to do it. Normal people, who are simply willing to step out, to be obedient to his call to love Him and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
And as we do, our lives will never be the same.
So, who is gonna do it? Do you want to join in His adventure? Do you want to be part of God’s transformation of this broken world?