Have you ever felt like you knew exactly what you needed to do and you were even willing to do it? Then when you think you are being obedient you discover that was not at all what you were called to do?
A few months ago I wrote about my trip to Haiti. If you’d like to catch up on how that luxury cruise changed the way I see the world check out the post here.
Months later I still think about the woman in the bathroom at the resort. Her only job was to turn the water on for me. It’s something I could very easily do myself and I felt awkward allowing her to do it. Her lack of a smile made me feel even more strange. I wondered if she had a family. A home. I wondered if she thought turning running water on for me was as ridiculous as it is, especially if she doesn’t have running water in her own home. Before I boarded the ship to head back to the States I began to pray about coming back with a mission project to Haiti. My church makes several trips each year and I just knew I needed to go.
A philanthropist at heart, I need to make the world better than how I found it. I am also a big dreamer. These two qualities can work really well together. Except that I am also pretty scattered. This big, bad and aching world collides often with my dreams and causes me to lose focus on where I am needed the most. Or rather, where God needs me the most. Oh, and I often tend to try and overstep His plan for my life thinking I’ve got a better one.
So the next chance I had to learn more about changing Haiti and changing the world I took it. One Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago I walked into an informational meeting about the mission trips to Haiti. I was ready to pack my bags! I was so willing to take the medical shots, raise the money for travel, take off work and leave my family for two weeks. I was excited to finally be doing something about the lady in the bathroom.
We opened the meeting with a prayer, but I didn’t pray with the rest of the group. I can’t really describe what came over me because all I could pray was a confused prayer.
“Lord, just tell me why I am here.”
Have you ever had that happen? It was like the road I was following suddenly stopped and there were no signs pointing me onward. Not even a small pathway leading into the murky woods. There was just no where to establish my footing. So I just stood there waiting for a reason to move.
But I didn’t get one.
Instead I got a half dozen reasons why I shouldn’t have been there. God gently reminded me of the mission he has already called me to do working in Preschool Ministries. He reminded me of the children and families I serve and that whatever he has called me to do is enough and assigned specifically to me. My mission doesn’t require travelling to foreign lands, but I may be equipping tomorrow’s missionaries to do just that.
Do you ever get restless like that and feel like what you are doing is not enough? Do you ever find yourself feeling unhappy with the role you play in building the kingdom? Do you ever wonder if you have a role at all?
When that happens I encourage you to reevaluate your calling. Take a step back and focus on your strengths and how you can make a difference right where you are. Realize that your mission field is your hometown. At the ballpark. Your local restaurant. Target. Because there is no sense in saving Haiti if the rest of the world is crumbling too. Sure, God needs those willing to travel and make a difference abroad. If that’s you, GO! But if he hasn’t called you there, like he hasn’t called me, it’s ok. You still have a job to do.
So do it.