I'm almost 30. So much has changed in the last 10 years of my life. I'm not a college student at a Jesus-centered academic institution where being more spiritual makes you cool. I'm a healthcare professional in the most unchurched state in the country. I'm involved in a church "plant" that's been around for 10+ years that's full of REAL people with REAL faith and REAL struggles. On one hand, I know I'm extremely blessed. I have family, friends, and a support system like no other. I have a steady job, a degree, and a house that more than meets my needs. I get to be a part of a church family that is more genuine than any group of people I've ever encountered. I'll be honest, though. Sometimes gratitude is hard. I thought things would look different when I was 20. I thought I'd be on the mission field with my husband and perhaps a child or two instead of living in the 7th state to legalize gay marriage. God's been extremely gracious to show me that we all live on a mission field. Every day.
When Jesus left the disciples at the end of the book of Matthew (chapter 28), the last command He gave them is called the Great Commission in verses 19-20.
Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Do you see Him tell them to convert a bunch of folks to your denomination and your political party? Does He tell them to lead a bunch of folks in a specific prayer? No. He says MAKE DISCIPLES. That's an ongoing process. That's just sharing life with folks as WE strive to be more like Jesus. But doing it with intention is what He mandates.
I'm far from loving others as Jesus does. But I'm trying, and I'm trusting His power to be "made perfect in my weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). I have opportunities all the time. I interact with so many people on a daily basis. The key is that it's HIS power, not mine. Don't get me wrong, I'd love for everyone to agree with me, to come to my church, to vote the same ballot I do. But I know that's not God's plan. So instead of working for what I know is not my call to make, I'm just trying to love in any way that I can. And sometimes that means saying nothing.