I want to be...
I have grown up hearing and learning about so many incredible missionary stories. The books I read, the stories my parents told me, the movies I saw, and the list goes on. From a young age I knew the most famous missionary pioneers and decided I wanted to be "just like them." So I continued on into my teen and young adult years reading these stories and consuming my mind with the life the missionary should live and what it should look like. Never did I ask, God what is your plan for ME... what did you create ME to do?
At Urbana the Bible study speaker shared that we have to stop trying to look like and carry out the work that others were created to do. This doesn`t only mean comparing ourselves and or trying to be someone else intentionally, this also means those subconscious desires to live a life other than our own. Other than the one God intentionally planned for us SPECIFICALLY to live out. So instead I need to be internally focused on the qualities God may want me to grow in... that I see in the should be lives of other missionaries. Instead I should be asking him how he wants to challenge me and stretch me, not make me into someone else. How does he want to use the past I`ve lived and the future ahead of me to glorify him? How does he want to see this small life be used for his great glory?
I will always treasure the lives of the missionaries I feel I have gotten to know personally. And I will aways name Elisabeth Elliot as my greatest earthly hero. But just like her, my desires and will should be submitted to the God who created me, not only her. To the God who wants to use me, not just her life. I guess the Urbana speaker`s plee has made me be a little more selfish and a little more inward focused on all that is going on in my heart and soul and all that God wants or doesn`t want to be there... instead of focusing on the life I could or should be living somewhere else doing something else.
Maybe someday I will be a missionary, who knows? What I do know is that the people around me and the missionary field I am on now is valuable and important to God and I want to live in it. Not only in the future ahead of me. He came a dwelt among us.