Begin a missionary is my (defunct) childhood dream. It is the first thing I specifically remember wanting to be “when I grow up”. What an easy, rewarding, job! Ho could people NOT believe when they heard the Good News about Jesus? THAT job would make me happy!
The second thing I wanted to be is a paleontologist. Seriously.
When Mrs. Roth taught us in 2nd grade about the people whose job it was to find and dig up dinosaur bones and study them, well I was captivated. My busy little 8-year-old brain had it all figured out.
I was fascinated by the fossil record, and paleontologists worked in countries where missionaries were desperately needed. What better avenue to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
There would be locals working on the digs, and of course I’d be able to venture into the nearest town. (A town was always near enough to the dig to be able to come & go in these early visions of my future.)
That’s how I remember thinking anyway…I’m sure my actual thoughts ran more toward 8th grade vocabulary.)
I wonder what the grown-ups thought when my response to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was “A paleontologist.” I wasn’t as open with the whole “missionary” thing. I still tried to witness, in my clumsy, rote repetition of the Gospel way, but it was always uncomfortable.
Alas, it will probably not come as a surprise that nearly 40 years later, I am neither a missionary nor a paleontologist serving God in a third-world country.
I am a secretary serving God in a Southern Baptist church.
I am doing the work that He prepared in advance for me to do.
My route here was not straight or narrow, and the circuitous route took much longer to navigate, but I’ve landed at the season and the destination that has been waiting for me according to God’s plan, written before He set time in motion.
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do"
I’m still fascinated by dinosaur bones, but I’m content to watch The Discovery Channel or PBS to get my fix. And my first “mission trip” involvement was all behind the scenes, where I find joy doing my assigned tasks, fulfilling my purpose. And my mission while the team was in Italy was as important as theirs – to cover them with prayer.
But…the next mission trip to Rome…I’m there baby! The team really needs a secretary, don’t you think?.
* * * * *
Do missions matter to you? Do you have a story to tell? Join the crowd at Patty Wysong's blog, Patterings - she wants to hear all about it!! (Oh, and a prize might be involved.)