All the world’s a classroom.
When I wrote out my goals for 2011 about seven months ago (new year’s resolutions – remember those?), one of the things I listed was discomfort. I have become aware that my life has consisted mostly of things that I am already familiar with. I feel a need to expand my world, and expose myself to more discomfort.
At this moment, I am less than 24 hours away to fulfilling one of my goals this year: going on a mission trip. The destination is El Suyatal, Honduras and what I’m feeling right now is pure, unadulterated excitement. I have never gone on a mission trip before, so this is kind of a big deal, and like a dry sponge I’m going to soak up everything about this trip. Ten days without electricity sound remarkably liberating.
I have been saving for this trip since January and this is no doubt going to be the highlight of my year. As I’m preparing my mind and heart on this Sabbath day and trying to reflect on why I wanted to go, I can’t think of a logical or profound answer to that question. I just wanted to go. Am I doing this with a pure motive? Not sure. I love adventures, and I freely admit that I’m looking at this with misty eyes. I know I want a radical experience in my spiritual life. I want to experience something different than campus ministry.
Of course a mission trip is designed for the people there, but my mind is incredibly limited in imagining the things that can happen in 10 days. Cynicism? There’s perhaps a little bit of that. Low expectations? Maybe some. I think, though, that it’s mostly narrow-mindedness. I’m sitting here in front of a computer screen trying to imagine what can happen in a foreign place, without any reference whatsoever. All I know is that the one who will benefit the most from this trip is me. And at this point, all I can talk about is the limited view from my window. See what I mean by “a small world”?
I do have expectations. I expect God to expand my vision, of life, the world, and His kingdom, to something much larger than the life (physical and spiritual) that I have known. I am looking for something without knowing what it is, and I’m ready for whatever God has for me there.
Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee. Jeremiah 32:17
And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD’S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not. Numbers 11:23
In our life here, earthly, sin-restricted though it is, the greatest joy and the highest education are in service. And in the future state, untrammeled by the limitations of sinful humanity, it is in service that our greatest joy and our highest education will be found—witnessing, and ever as we witness learning anew “the riches of the glory of this mystery;” “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27. Education, p. 309 [emphasis mine]
For the next 10 days El Suyatal will be my classroom. My teacher, the Infinite One, and the field of study…I’m about to find out. =)