It might just be my perception as an American but I find the pace in France to be a little slower. A little more relaxed. A little more laid back. This is of course except for the drunk man on the bus last night being obnoxious to a young man. At first, and sometimes, this is a challenge. I am a go go, doer. Most things close at 7:30 or 8:30 at night and they don’t open again until after 8. I get up at 6 and am up until 11 or so. I need stimuli. I need movement. I need… to slow down. Right now we are without a washing machine at the house. We should be getting a new one next week because almost nothing in France happens on the same day. So I can either walk to the laundry mat or hand wash. I chose to handwash because I need to slow down. I need to match the pace of France and ease up off the throttle. I still have classes, chapel, language, family, and so on but I still need to breathe. I still need to rest.
I enjoy going slowly because I can talk to and listen to God in the mundane but when I am too busy I miss that. Brother Lawrence said, “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.” It is hard for me to make room for slowness and ease. It is hard for me to relax. But it is necessary. Today I will try and take it a little slower. I will try to move a little easier. I will try and remember what is important.
Just a thought,
I want to take just a minute to talk about missions and why it is so humbling to be involved. It is humbling to be involved in missions because God is allowing us to partner with Him. The mission is God’s missions. There is a term for it called Missio Dei which is Latin for The Mission of God. God is the originator of missions and was the first missionary in the Garden, then to Abraham, then Moses, and finally Jesus. Jesus said He came to seek and save the lost. It is His mission and that He asks us to serve in His plan is so humbling because we were the lost, He came to save. One of my favorite passages of Scripture when it comes to missions is John 4:4 which says, “He had to travel through Samaria.”
It is such an easy passage to read over but if we think about it is an amazing passage. Jews did not associate with or have anything to do with people of Samaria. They would avoid contact at all costs. While the trip Jesus was taking was faster to go through Samaria you always went around. You avoided them at all costs. You never had to go through Samaria. Jesus, on the other hand, said He had to go through there. Jesus had to proclaim the Gospel to these people. He had to. I could talk about this for a long time, but that verse answers the question when I wonder why missions. I have to.
It is not a question or should or would like to but have to. There are so many people who are hurting in the world around us and France is on that list. You can check out the Missions page to see more but the fact is Missions exists because there are people God loves and He wants them to receive His greatest gift. This causes us to respond.
Now I get it not everyone can be a missionary, but we are all called to do our part. Some go and dedicate their lives to the call. Some stay and serve locally. Some serve locally and support those who go. Some do many things. The point is, we are all involved. We met a young lady a year or so ago who was going to Germany to do missions. We wanted to help but did not think could. That changed when our perceptive changed. We realized we could not do as much as we wanted to do but we could do something. So, we signed on as monthly partners to do a little. You know what? It has made all the difference. When she announced she was fully funded we wept tears of joy with her. It’s not about the money or the amount it is about being in it together. We are part of what she is doing, and I wish I would have gotten this sooner because it is an amazing feeling.
My question is simply what are you doing about missions? This is not a pledge drive question because we trust God’s got what we need (feel free to help though we won’t say no) but a question for your own fulfillment. If God wants us all to participate in missions with Him what are you doing and how can you serve Him? I encourage you, no I beg of you be involved in some way, with someone, with some service because the feeling is amazing. You will connect with God in amazing ways when you are involved in His mission. Maybe God is calling you cross-cultural missions, maybe to serve in a food bank, maybe to give financially to someone, anything just ask Him and see where He leads you. It will be so great, and I am excited to see what God does in you.
Just a thought,