Wednesday, April 21, 2010

World Missions

I knew early on that  I didn't want to be a missionary.  Well, actually, that's not true.  But I made my final decision once I started needing a hair dryer to blow dry my hair.  It occurred to me that I might  get sent/called to some country in Africa that didn't have electricity and I wouldn't be able to blow dry my hair.  That was about the time I gave up on the mission field. It's not even that I have great hair--or even good hair.  I just seem to need to blow it dry every day.  And  for that, I couldn't risk being a missionary.   Oh, come on now.  I know that there are others of you out there reading this that have your deal breaker list too.  I'm just brave enough/foolish enough (?) to come clean with my (short) list of what kept me out of missionary work.  Only really and truly....that's not true because I believe that all work is part of a mission.  No matter what we do...what we are doing...we are on a mission of some kind or another. I read somewhere yesterday that some of us lead life while others of us allow life to just drag us around.   Some of us have very definite callings while still  others of us just sort of plod along  and go in and out of open (and shut) doors.
Work with me here.....mission with a purpose.  Right this minute...don't even think about it...say out loud what your purpose is on this planet---even if it's just your purpose for the next fifteen minutes, what are you heading towards?
I have always been awful at writing down goals.  Heck, I have never even been able to make out a menu for tomorrow night's meal.  That would require way too much forward planning for me.  And, yet,  like so many of us, I live so much of my life in the future.  "After I lose those 15 pounds; when I complete that degree; as soon as my son graduates...." With me still?   But what is both startling and scary is that no matter what we tell others about our lives, we are acting out---acting on---acting upon---what we deep down believe our core mission to be.  Oh, I can just hear some of you right this minute arguing back with me, "That is simply not true.  My mission /purpose is one thing, but how I live my life is another."  Really?   I don't believe you.   Don't we get it?  Every word that comes our of our mouths, every action/non action we take on this very day uncovers.....displays what we really believe about how we should be living this life.    Scary right?  Makes me want to go inside and hide so you won't see me.  Yikes.
  When I went to pick up Taylor yesterday at "The Hope Haven School for the Mentally Retarded" (former name), there was a young extremely disabled woman in a stand up walker.  Drooling, head-cocked, non-verbal, diapered....(you get it) --her caregiver was saying , "Kia, make good choices.  Kia,  make good choices." 
I was struck dumb.  What in the heck did she mean, "Make good choices?"  What on earth kinds of choices did Kia have available to her?  It seemed like this life had pretty much stripped her of most of her choices. 
Back in my car with Taylor, it just washed over me how every single minute most of us have a multitude of choices just staring right back at us.  Eat this/not that.  Say this/not that.  Call her/not him. Read this/not that.
Volunteer here/or not.  Be kind/or not.  Over and over and over again all day, we get to decide little things and then much bigger things.....stuff...issues.  Whoa.  What a privilege.  And, in every single one of our decisions, choices, actions, we are claiming what we believe.  We are on a mission---our own mission for this very real and personal life.  Our mission field is right in front of us every minute.  It's not in Africa (necessarily); it's not overseas (necessarily). It is right here, right now. 
In fact, you are now in the mission field whether you like it or not.
Make good choices.
Kia would be honored to have your range of choices today.
This is your mission field--wherever you are--whatever you do.
You get to define it, mold it, make it---decide.
And, you still get to blow-dry your hair. 
No more excuses.  Darn.