I was driving home today, listening to this song, and doing a little thinking.
You see, I grew up in a Baptist church. I went overseas as an IMB missionary.
In my mind, December means Lottie Moon.
And, the Great Commission means me.
I first felt called to missions when I was about 10 years old, and I still do.
So, when I listen to the words “To the ends of the earth I will follow…,” my heart is pulled to places far away and faces yet unseen.
And here am I.
In a place that’s familiar, surrounded by people who look, sound and think a lot like me.
The “ends of the earth” couldn’t seem farther away.
And, that’s hard for me.
Because I want to go.
But, more importantly, I want to follow.
And, sometimes following Christ leads us to the most unexpected places.
For me, THIS was unexpected.
I never dreamed I’d come back to Mississippi to stay or that my children would grow up here.
And, I struggle with disappointment over that fact sometimes.
Not because I don’t love Mississippi. I do.
But I have a passion for other places and the people who live in them.
And, I believe God’s call on my life hasn’t changed.
So, how do I obey it here?
My husband was having this very conversation with a friend recently, a friend who is waiting for God to say, “Go…now.”
That friend was wondering the same thing:
How do we keep working while we’re waiting?
How do we go and yet stay at the same time?
How do we nurture contentment without succumbing to complacency?
How do we balance the passion for a calling with the perfection of God’s plan?
The truth is I don’t know.
But I strongly suspect the secret lies in the surrender.
Did I surrender to a call or to the God who gave it?
Do I long for the ministry or for the Master?
Can I open my eyes to the opportunities right before me?
Can I open my heart to the people right beside me?
Because, let’s face it: this IS the ends of the earth. When the words of Acts 1:8 were put on paper, the person penning them couldn’t even conceive the continents. Our maps were a mystery. When the first followers were told to “go,” this is where they were headed.
The gospel has gone around the world and back. There are still those in remote places far away who’ve never heard, but there are also those right down the street who have yet to hear, too.
And here am I.
Send me, O Lord. Send me.