SCRIPTURE: Acts 20:24a (CEB)
But nothing, not even my life, is more important than my completing my mission.
One afternoon author Patsy Clairmont found herself on an airplane, sitting next to a young man. She writes, "I had already observed something about this young man when I was being seated. He called me "Ma'am." At the time I thought, 'Either he thinks I'm ancient, or he's from the South where they still teach manners, or he's in the service.' I decided the latter was the most likely, so I asked, "You in the service?" "Yes, Ma'am, I am." "What branch?" "Marines." "Hey, Marine, where are you coming from?" "Operation desert Storm, Ma'am." "No kidding? Desert Storm! How long were you there?" I asked. "A year and a half. I'm on my way home. My family will be at the airport." I then commented that he must have thought about returning to his family and home many times while he was in the Middle East. "Oh, no, Ma'am," he replied. "We were taught never to think of what might never be, but to be fully available right where we were."
And there it is – “Nothing…more important than completing (the) mission” and “…to be fully available right where we were.” These words sums up the full scale of our call to be in ministry. It is not about convenience. It is not about our liking what we are called to do. It is not about “does it fit into our schedule.” It is not about our abilities to do the task that God has asked us to do. It is not about counting the days until it will be over. It is simply about completing the mission by being fully available.
The mission and the ministry to which God summons us is demanding and difficult. It is not about us and our preferences nor is it about our ability to do the task. One of my favorite lines is: God never asks us to do something that we can do … because if we can do it then we don’t need him.
It is always a challenge to serve God’s mission. It always demands more from us than we think we are able to give. If we are looking for comfort then boy are we looking in the wrong place. If we are looking for convenience and stuff that we like to do then we should be searching someplace else.
The mission from God is hard. We shouldn’t accept it unless we are open to being and going where we least expect to find ourselves. It is adventure. Every day should be a surprise with what God does with what he has to work with! Especially if we will “be fully available right where we (are).”
Okay God we think we get it. We are stubborn and difficult to work with, but we are trying to get it right. A little help would be great. We like the comfort and convenience stuff, but we also like being on a mission for you. Conflict does arise within us. Quiet our spirit and direct our energy so that we will always be fully available.