When the word ‘mission’ comes up, what do you normally see in your mind’s eye? Is it a long journey somewhere halfway around the world to work with the indigenous people? Or do you imagine a short journey to a desperately needy part of your city? Or do you think of the Blues Brothers or an adobe building somewhere in California? (just kidding)
The truth is there are many different ways in which the concept of missions can be envisioned in our lives. The above are just two very concrete types of missions.
When I think of mission, I also think of the specific mandates that I believe God would want me to embrace in my personal life – things like being aware of hurting people around me and being willing to share the love of Christ.
For parents I think of the mission of raising up an emotionally healthy, securely attached child – one that can accept and give love and forgiveness freely.
And then there is the often-ignored subject of a marital mission apart from parenting. This is a shared spiritual assignment that respects the interests and gifts of both people. Obviously for Nan & me this is the counseling and teaching work that we do together at The Relationship Center at Christian Assembly Church. It has been one of the most beneficial things we have done for our marriage. This shared purpose allows us to connect at a much deeper level than we normally would if our lives were largely separate, except for the routine tasks of life.
I know that most couples cannot work together on a daily basis like we do. But I know couples that have a food distribution ministry, or a seasonal volunteer activity, or a babysitting for single parents ministry. There are all kinds of ways that couples (married or not) can connect in meaningful ways.
The key is intentionality — a wonderful word that connotes active willingness to pursue something. It will require some real intentionality to put aside time to explore and find a mutually meaningful mission pursuit. But I can assure you that life will take on a new excitement that will replace the mundane distractions that are lurking at every turn (endless hours of television, computer games, etc.)
For some of you this is not new – you are already in hot pursuit. But hopefully, for some of you, it will stimulate you to consider some new opportunities to ‘kick it up a notch’.