Waiting for Direction?

undecide“God, what do you want me to do now?” It seems I’ve asked that same question over and over as I’ve lived my life. Years ago, I was a new grad, the ink on my degree barely dry. Suddenly I was faced with a major decision—what should I do with my education? It was tempting to apply to grad school, sticking with what I knew. On the other hand, I was so tired of school! Maybe I should look for a job. Unfortunately, my degree was one of those lacking a clear career path. I spent hours praying, lost in a sea of choices.

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Supporting Long-term Missions

It used to be that a missionary heading overseas would say good-bye to friends and family with little expectation that they’d ever see any of them again. It was a life-long commitment, and frequently that life would be very short.

These days, any Christian can be a missionary. According to David Livermore, author of Serving with Eyes Wide Open, “four to five million Americans participate in religious short-term mission experiences” each year, spending $2.25 billion (yes, with a “b”) to do so.

At the same time, there are a little over 1.6 million full-time Christian missionaries, most of whom work in already-evangelized areas (Frontier Harvest Ministries). The numbers may be off somewhat (it’s very hard to get an accurate accounting), but the picture is clear—short-term missionaries greatly outnumber full-time workers. Keep that in mind for a moment.

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What do you want to be when you grow up?

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

How many times were we asked that as kids? And how many kids announce that they want to be a “nobody” when they become adults? We want to be astronauts, firefighters and doctors, or perhaps president. In many Christian families, the goal is more spiritual: pastor or missionary. The bottom line is, everyone wants to be significant.

I was raised with the message that “I could be anything I wanted” when I grew up. Of course that’s ridiculous. I’m such a klutz, I fell off my stool in art class in 8th grade (and the social fail of it obviously scarred me for life). Clearly, I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete… or a whole host of other things.

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