“God has provided each of us with certain capabilities and opportunities. He is aware, of course, of our environmental obstacles and roadblocks – for example, the problems we have faced in our family life. He knows our inherent weaknesses and the circumstances that are beyond our control. But at the same time, God wants us to use what we have at our disposal. He wants us to develop our capacities and use them to the fullest.”
– Gene Getz
This quote really resonates with me, especially as I reflect upon the numerous mission experiences I’ve had. You see, one of the things I like the most about missions is that you can be whoever you want to be (within reason of course)! It is a little like the guy who always stays at a Holiday Inn. He is capable of so much more just because of where he spent the night. Going on a mission trip gives you the opportunity to be the person you want to be.
Now before you scoff, give me a chance to defend myself. I’m not telling you to go on a mission trip and impersonate a doctor. What I am telling you is that your slate is clean. Even though our slate is always clean with Jesus, we sometime operate as though it is not. But on a mission trip we are free of all our past. You can use your past as a guidepost rather than a hitching post!
What I really love is the fact that I’m Jon, the guy that flew across the ocean to spend a week serving when I’m on a mission trip. I’m not Jon the salesman. I’m not Jon the guy who forgot to use his blinker and cut you off. I’m not Jon the guy who should have spent more nights in the library when he was in college instead of hanging with friends. I’m not Jon the guy who chose to watch T.V. instead of have my quiet time. I’m just Jon, a servant of Christ.
However, it should not stop there. My hope is the person I become while on mission is not some counterfeit person; rather I hope this is the person I truly desire to be, the person God created me to be. With that in mind I try to take that person home with me and be that person back home as well. It is a challenge to maintain, especially when life gets back in full swing. We have a family to take care of, a job to tend to, and no doubt our personal vices (golf, football, T.V.) pulling at us from different directions. Regardless of who you are when you get on the plane to fly to Romania and regardless of whom you become when you return home, I truly hope you will ask God to show you who He wants you to be. Maybe He will use this trip to mold you into that person. That’s my prayer. Aspire to new heights.