Can we start over at the gateway to summer? In June, didn’t we all feel like we were on a mission to enjoy the days of summer? How successfully did that mission progress? The countdown has begun. Mom’s everywhere are on the fence with this one. On one side, the return to structure, a time to wake and a time to sleep. On the other side, the return to structure, a time to wake and a time to sleep. See the dilemma? These days preceding the start of school are evaporating. When entering a store I want to wrap a tarp around the displays of schools supplies to hold back the reality that summer is nearly over. How can it be that August is so quickly slipping away when there are so many activities still waiting to transpire? ERGH! Can we go back to June, please, when we were just embarking on our mission? I know what the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” but can’t we stretch this season out a lot longer?
What do you love most about summer? Is it vacation? Catching a few extra minutes (or maybe hours) of deck time? A chance to be outside till God turns the stars on? Running errands that have no obligated set time to be done? Downshifting a little, instead of feeling like every gear is programmed to shift on command? Opportunities to gather with friends for a few hours without wondering if you’ll be plowing snow all the way home? Sounds like a mission of a different variety, doesn’t it?
I love every season. In fact I love every day of the week. Some are more fun than others – like summer, like vacations. But then back to work and back to reality and back to ‘that’ mission field. For some of us it’s a job, for others it’s schools, and for everyone it’s a place to be. That place to be, no matter who we are is our mission field. It’s that place where just by being in it we can make a difference. I read a lot, listen to podcasts and watch countless videos. The number of social media evangelists telling me what I have to do to be successful is overwhelming. Their mission field is vast compared to mine. But this one thing is true for me and it’s true for you, we all have a mission. We have a place to serve – a place to make a difference – a place to shine. Some of us take the scenic route, a crooked path, a mountainous trail, while others seem to know their mission like an internal compass stuck on true north. For those who lack that pinpoint precision, we gain unparalleled experience from all the ups and downs, twists and turns while wandering. The key is building a strong foundation of experience as we cross boundaries, then use what we’ve learned to help others and help ourselves too. Our mission field might be small and familial or it might be diverse and seem foreign. Most of us are not called to acts of prominence or fame but each of us is called to be a light right where we are.
My mission field at home and at work is my opportunity to make a difference. It’s yours too. We don’t know the impact one small act of kindness will make. Philippians 2:1-4 says: “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”
What is your mission field? Does it feel like unknown territory? The entire landscape of my day will be different from yours. We know different people, we live in different places, what we do every day is different. We have a kaleidoscope of opportunities on our mission fields all needing just one thing to be effective. Light! The places where light makes the most difference is where there is no light. Proverbs 13:9 says “The light of the righteous shines brightly.” We look toward the Light of the World to receive energy, contentment, and an unlimited supply of joy. Colossians 3:23 reminds us that “Whatever we do, we are to work at it with all our heart, just like we are working for the Lord.” No matter where we live, work, go to school, or play, whatever gifts God has given each of us, we are responsible to Him to work at it with all our heart and be faithful. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 tells me if God calls me to do something he will be alongside me helping me do it. “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
Leaving the gateway of the summer camp I attended, there was a sign that read “You are now entering the mission field.” Back then I didn’t think about the significance of that simple statement. Now I recognize its truth. I could spend years looking for my mission, when all along I have been on my mission field, the place where every day I make a difference. The question is, what kind of difference am I making?
Ready? You are now entering the mission field. Let’s get out there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDjstImknnU