AJ and I have been hoping and praying that through time and trust, God will show us how he wants us to specifically live out his love together, not only to each other, but to the world around us. How can we make a difference? How can we gear our lives to do significant, kingdom works?
Growing up, and especially in my adult life, I've heard several different perspectives, both Biblical, about living out a life that "runs and finishes the race." One message is that of radical trust. Seeking to do big things that are out of the norm, requiring much sacrifice, and great trust in God to come through. I'm sure you've heard it: something like- "Pray for things that only God can do." or "God equips the called, he doesn't call the equipped." This idea would really ring strong in my ear during times of missional service, conferences or seminars, or while reading an article which broadened my world view or awareness. My heart strings were pulled. I'd see examples of people using their creativities, or just a dream, and plunging into uncertain situations with nothing trumping their surrender. I would think, "I can't live my life without finding one of these causes and doing something about it. These people get it. I want to get it, and not lose sight.
There's also the semi-opposite perspective. It is one of steadfast endurance and submission to the Lordship of Christ in daily situations and relationships. Seeking to make an impact in the "mission field" around you. Seeking the humility of day-to-day opportunities to serve and respond, rather than the "platform" of a rare and noteworthy way of life. I've heard people say that this best models the ministry of Jesus as a whole. Maybe the big and radical thing is more the Potter trying to make His clay soft; to make us do something rather than nothing. Who knows.
We visited a church last week where local and North American missions were being emphasized throughout the service. Statistics and ideas were being shared. Several video testimonies were shown of young couples who had decided to invest in local causes, specifically local orphan adoption and another couple, foster parenting. Both couples shared that after much prayer, this was the way God was leading them to build the kingdom in "East Cobb." I was encouraged because this seemed like a perfect balance of the big and small. It's a pretty BIG thing to adopt a child, locally or internationally. It's also crazy big to begin to foster parent without children of your own. But it's SMALL in this way: they didn't start a business, or a non-profit. They didn't sell all they had to go to a new place. They found a system (in reference to foster parenting) that is full of opportunity. A broken system sometimes, but a system set up to achieve a great purpose. And they joined it. They are going to love and keep children and raise them up in the training of the Lord. Super cool.
Even though the speaker at this church left us with the "do BIG things, or your life won't be remembered" spill, I left with a heart that just wants to be willing. A little confused on which side I lean on? Yes. Curious as to which type of picture my life will paint? Sure. But I talked to my heart: I don't have to have a clear picture of how we will impact the kingdom as a couple, a family. I do want to pray a willing prayer on a regular basis. I want to be ready for God. I so don't want to miss what He is doing!
11 months ago