It’s a word that evokes a lot of memories and feelings for me. Growing up in a full-time ministry family has a lot of personal connotations.
I have memories of parents sending me and my brother downstairs out of ear shot because someone in need was coming over. Sure it was 8:30pm on a school night. Sure it was last minute (as most crises are). Sure it was inconvenient. But it wasn’t uncommon in the home I was raised in. They told us over and over again that their jobs weren’t simply 9-5 jobs, rather our whole life was to be lived on mission.
I also remember the smell of pancakes and bacon on a Saturday morning, waking up all sleepy and walking out to the kitchen to find church members at our table, and I have zero memories of a Christmas Eve spent just as our nuclear family. We always had extra seats for people in our community without friends, family, or a reason to celebrate. Because again, in our home a life on mission wasn’t regulated to a day of the week and holidays weren’t excused.
Despite my healthy upbringing, I really struggled with what life was supposed to look like in my early twenties. I had this weird “DO SOMETHING BIG FOR JESUS” complex. In my heart of hearts I just wanted to be a mix of Mother Teresa and Condoleezza Rice (I know… big dreams). I thought my mission would be somewhere dangerous and that I would have to give up all worldly comforts.
So after college I pursued missions big time and yet God has a sense of humor. I ended up here. In Texas. Not in vocational ministry. With a house and babies and all sorts of first-world comforts.
I struggled HARD with my reality until God finally wrecked my world a few years ago and I understood. Brokenness is everywhere. My calling, my mission, was wherever He put me, forever how long He had me there, and I was supposed to give it ALL I got. Christ came to redeem a broken world, and as His child and His vessel on this earth I wanted to point others to His redemption wherever I went.
It sounds awfully glamorous doesn’t it? The words sound good, but the reality is actually both ordinary and hard.
Let me paint it this way…
That season of suffering you’re in? It isn’t pointless. It has purpose. Be a picture of redemption in whatever way He has called you to.
That difficult relationship? Shine hope, forgiveness, and grace every chance you get.
That sin you wrestle with? Wrestle with it in community, allowing God’s grace to minister to you and to others while the journey points to a God who redeems and has paid for every single last one of our sins.
That selfish family member, coworker, or friend? Serve them tirelessly and joyfully, pointing to the HOPE you have in Christ and not man’s praise or approval.
That coffee shop, grocery store, neighborhood that you frequent? Toss out generosity and joy every chance you get when engaging in this world.
Your job, Your season, Your greatest JOY, Your greatest heartache, all of this ordinary everyday events are your MISSION FIELD. It’s what He’s called you to.
Do I still tend to dream big when I hear the word “mission?” Honestly yes, but what I love is that He keeps calling me back to the small. The ordinary. The unpaid. The undeserved. The unseen. This is God in His holy place doing His kingdom work on both the stages and in the shadows.
My friends, what is your MISSIONfield? What are you called to right now? And how can you live this calling out faithfully?
Cheering you on in this hard and ordinary mission,