A couple of weeks ago our pastor talked about mission – oh, I’ve heard it mentioned a time or two in other sermons :) but for some reason this one stayed with me triggering thoughts of the word itself and what it means on a personal basis. The preacher said his first mission is to get to Heaven someday and I suppose that should be the mission of us all. When I looked it up in the dictionary (yes, some of us still do that!) it said this: 1) assigned task…a special task given to a person or group to carry out 2) calling…an objective or task that somebody believes it is his or her duty to carry out or to which he or she attaches special importance and devotes special care. It had a couple of other definitions, including a space vehicle’s trip, but I’m pretty sure that one isn’t for me!
In Luke 9:51 we are told that Jesus “set His face toward Jerusalem.” Or, depending on the version, “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Either way we are assured that Jesus knew His mission and with great determination and even greater courage began the final steps of His journey to that goal. Unlike you and me, who rarely know what lies at the end of our journey, He knew….He knew it would include pain and degradation and death. But he set forth anyway.
I don’t think my mission in this life includes the things Jesus endured, thank goodness. However, I don’t know for sure exactly what my mission is. I know some things it has been though. And I think I even know when it began. It started when I was 5 years old and the neighbors took me to church where they told me that Jesus loves me…and I believed them. It continued when God reached down, took me by the hand, and said, “this is the man I want you to marry.” That was nearly 46 years ago and I am convinced no marriage lasts that long without God showing us the grace it takes to maintain that kind of relationship. For a time my mission was to raise children. In looking back I’m like any mother who wonders if she did anything right….I see everything I did wrong and I cry over the missed opportunities to have been better at it. But when the time came to let them go it was ok because I knew He was moving me on to other things. For a part of my life I worked with high school kids in a variety of positions and without God’s hand pushing me into college at the age of 35 that would never have happened. I don’t know which kid, or maybe even multiple kids, He wanted me to touch but when it was time to let go of that He let me know that too.
Now I’m in a place where I’m serving Him in a different way than I ever dreamed, but serving Him is the thread that has tied all of my life jobs/missions/goals together. Lately I’ve read on several blogs about women who feel themselves being led in a “different direction.” Direction is just another word for mission and I’ve said all of the above so that I can say to you….serving Him is the mission, is the direction. When you’re serving Him, you’re in the mission field no matter where you are. It’s only in how you serve Him that you have to make a choice. You can serve Him beautifully as a stay-at-home Mom protecting and loving on one of God’s creations (or however many children He sends you!). You’re in the mission field right at home. You can serve Him where you work every day by showing His love and concern and joy to those around you. You’re in the mission field at your work place. You can serve Him by being the best wife you can be, not the perfect wife :) but a good wife. You can serve Him by going to a mission in a foreign country and spreading His word, or by fostering children in your home, or by driving a truck across the country. Serve Him where you are and if He wants you to change direction, rest assured He will make your path clear. Set your face toward Jerusalem and you will find your direction.