It is so easy to get into a groove in life, to run on the same track every day. Wake up, have breakfast, check social media, head to work or school, have lunch, return home or have some sort of activity, check social media/watch the news, play with our kids or parents, go to bed only to do it all over again the next day. Sure there are subtle differences between our days, extra activities we plan, our sporting events or our kid’s sporting events. Weekends can change things up occasionally, but it can be pretty easy to get into a rhythm of life that looks similar every day.
This rhythm of life isn’t inherently wrong or bad. Actually, sometimes it is good. But a rhythm of life that is similar every day can cause our world to become small and we can view our world through a small lens because all we know and see is the immediate world around us in which we live our lives every day. This rhythm of life can also cause our spiritual lives to become stale and comfortable which can cause our view of God and His work in the world to be viewed through a small lens. I would suggest that when our lives are on autopilot, where every day is the same and predictable, our relationship with Jesus can easily be put on autopilot. It can be hard to gain a new and fresh perspective on things that matter to God.
In order for our lives to not remain stale, predictable, or comfortable (lives that Jesus never intended for us to live), we need a disruption. We need something to shake us up, to take our preconceived ideas about life, people, and this world and give us new and fresh eyes. We need a disruption to broaden our view of the world and deepen our understanding of Jesus and His word. We need a disruption to expand our lens on everything that matters. We need to be messed up a little. Sometimes God brings a disruption into our lives, but there are times we need to go looking for it.
A short-term service/missions trip, if done right, can be just the thing we need. These short-term mission trips can be to another country, they can be in the same town we live in or a nearby city. We need to remove ourselves from the “normal” predictable life we live every day.
We serve an amazing and big God who is doing incredible work in the world. There are amazing men and women who are serving God and are experiencing Him in ways I can only imagine. There are followers of Jesus who can give us fresh eyes to understanding the Bible. But we must be willing to go, be humble, and learn.
The church and Christians in the greater world, in the inner city, in the “poorer” communities have much to teach us all, about faith, life, and this world that we cannot learn from the comfort and safety of our homes or the rhythm of our everyday lives. These places not only can save the American church from its destruction but help it become a thriving and growing force in our world.
When I grew up and went to our church’s missions conference I remember hearing the phrase, “How will they know of the love of Jesus is nobody goes and tells them?” Today, I believe the tables have turned, “How we will know the transforming power of the love of Jesus and save the American Church unless we go and learn from those who are on fire for Jesus?”
We all need a disruption in our lives to awaken our souls and deepen our relationship with Jesus, each other, and this world. We need to be humble enough to realize we do not have all the answers and that there is truth in different parts of the world if we are willing to look. When we go, we go as humble learners, willing to allow our perspectives, our assumptions and our view of life, faith and this world to be challenged, expanded, and transformed.