A dear friend returned from a mission trip to Belize Saturday and in her text to me she said, "This trip has changed my life." What is it about mission trips? Seems like everyone returning says that same thing. I don't know what it is, since I have yet to be on a mission trip, tho I would argue that everyday we are on a mission trip no matter where we are. I have had my own moments when my life was altered, however. My perspective was changed when I read Half the Sky. My purpose was changed when I decided to let Jesus take the lead in my life. One day I will go on one of those mission trips to see what it means.
I would imagine it is something like what Isaiah experienced, tho. This Sunday's text is Isaiah 6:1-8. I have studied different places in the Bible where humanity has come face to face with the Divine. This is one of my favorite accounts. Kirk's focus was how holy-set apart or extraordinarily different-God is. Mine is always about how that holiness changes us.
There are some people that dismiss the notion that there might be something more. Perhaps there is some comfort in that for them since there is no need to consider right or wrong beyond what is right or wrong for the individual. Some people will say there is something; they just don't know exactly what it is-aliens, karma, magic. Many consider the Bible a story book, if they consider it at all, or just another construct humanity used to make sense of our existence.
I was part of that group. I really disliked Christians-their exclusivity, their know it all attitude, their hypocrisy. Their special book was just a bunch of ancient stories made up by nomads to explain their world, but it wasn't relevant, for me. I didn't need fairy tales to feel better or do better.
But, as a smile crosses over my face, I remember that was before He showed up. I picture what an amazing sight Isaiah saw and know that nothing that dramatic has ever happened. Wouldn't have known what to do if I had!
Things are different since He showed up. I would like to say I am lots of things that I am not, but I know myself too well. What I can say is that my direction in life is different. My values are different. I see my self and my place in this world differently. I have a new vision for what my life can be, what my impact on this world might be. If I don't do anything meaningful here, at least I am moving toward Him now, toward His kingdom, not creating my own.
I think that is the major difference-Him. His priorities are what I test mine by. His challenge is what I claim as mine. I am not trying to create my own way, but learning how to live His.
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "God doesn't believe in atheists." It hurt my heart, and I think it might hurt His. He believes in all of us; we just haven't all met Him yet.