“Never do anything alone. Always take someone with you so that you can model for them the vision, skills, and values that shape your life.”
This quote comes from a book I am reading called Church Planting Movements, and it is one of five books that Alternative Missions has deemed important for staff and interns joining to read in order to better understand some of the underlying principals that form the heart Alternative Missions has for mission in general.
Let me begin this blog by saying that God does not cease to amaze me.
The concepts I am reading in this book, that stories of house churches throughout Asia and India and the rest of the world that are doubling in size, the intention to keep growth and progress in the hands of the local people, and the heart to come and equip and then step back to be more an aid than a leader, are all concepts that I have spent the last five years of my journal ironing out and perfecting in my heart. God is showing me how this is actually working and how important it is to respect culture and the power of the local people, along with the respect that God will move where He wills. I cannot start anything in Costa Rica. God can.
We have been here for a little over a month now, in Hone Creek for a little less than that, and God has used so many moments to open my eyes to the fact that He has a plan for every place I will ever go. I can see how He was moving in Fresno, now that I am here, and how He has been moving here before I arrived. It is an incredible feeling to know that God is walking among us and it is only our job to follow the steps.
This quote that I placed at the start of my entry hit me for the reason that so much of my life and my faith have been far too personal and far too private for far too long. I took pride in the fact that I had intimacy with the Lord, that I enjoyed retreating into His presence and growing closer in the ways of knowing that He gives wisdom and direction to those who take shelter in His arms, yet I feel that there is a piece missing in that that could potentially explain certain parts of your soul to another human being. If I hold that my relationship with the Lord is what I hold the highest, that the work I do (any work) is for the purposes of sharing His love and showing His glory, than I must bring others alongside, and into my life to see that for themselves. That they could watch and know what I hold as values and vision, and that it would point in the direction I am aiming for everytime. That all things communicated would be understood as His guidance, direction, and impression on my life.
I struggled with this for awhile because I didn’t want to be one of those people who constantly through religion in the face of those who sought my company. I see now how God will give you ways to simply live, and in so doing, take others along.
I am beginning to teach Pilates to some of the women my age I have met since I arrived, and from the start have been seeking a balance between building relationship and being intentional in our conversation, until I realized that I was making it far too complicated and all I needed to do was genually, truly care about them. It is not building relationship for relationship sake, it is doing it because you recognize that they were created in the same amazing way you were and even if they haven’t realized it God has been working and moving in their lives and you want to discover those ways. It is living in front of them with love that has no agenda and simply asking about their day and sharing about the ways in which God has moved in your life when the conversation arrives. Sometimes it has shown itself as simple as dropping by their stores and shooting the breeze. All of us are trying to live and learning how things work and in the process by living the way in which you have chosen is the right way through what you have seen and know about Jesus’ life you explain the differences others see.
God has given us life to be lived in community and alongside others. We are all walking and how we use that journey, what we say, and how much we share along the way can make an incredible difference. My deepest desire is that the people I chose to share my life with would really know me, and I am convinced it begins with simply bringing them along.
Sharing the Experience,