Dissonance

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You know what really bothers me about being a missionary?  So much of daily life is taken up in doing ordinary daily living tasks.  It’s not like living on a missions trip.  People always glamorize missions life and think that we are always telling someone about Jesus, praying and fasting,  seeing great miracles, leading masses of people into the kingdom of God.  But it’s just not like that.

This last week I did absolutely nothing ministry related.  I stood in line for days and days at immigration.  I took my kids to the doctor’s office and the lab and the pharmacy.    I drove back and forth from home and school and gymnastics and soccer about 4 dozen times (it felt like).  I went to two of the five grocery stores that I normally shop at.  I bought two gifts for new babies and went to one baby-shower.  I cleaned my house several times.  I grounded my kids for fighting.  I helped my daughter finish a book report and memorize her Bible verse.  I washed countless loads of laundry and made 3 meals a day- except for yesterday when we went to lunch with friends and I made leftovers for dinner.

My point is, daily life is just so ordinary… no matter where you live.  I used to think that I’ll wait until I’m a grown up to do something big for God.  Or maybe when I’m a missionary then I’ll get my devotional life into some kind of regular pattern.  But if you don’t do it before your daily life takes over, it just won’t get done.  No matter where you live, life must be done daily.  That balancing act between Earthly and Heavenly is draining, straining, and complicated.  My heart wants to live every day in the Heavenly.   I long for my Heavenly home.  But my feet are here in the mud.  I’m grounded.  And it’s not glamorous.

Here I have the opportunity to give myself my usual pep talk and bring it back to a positive note.  But I think I’m just going to leave it on a note of dissonance because I still feel the discord between my body and spirit.  That’s just how it is sometimes.  Life doesn’t always have a pretty harmony.  And that bothers me.

11 responses »

  1. I really liked this post. Okay I like the all so far. 😉 But what made this a faith builder to me, was the fact that you are honest about what a missional life looks like. Whether at home or abroad. Far too often, we are sold a glamorized version of Kingdom and Mission life.

    For most, it is not. It is lived in the trenches of life and simple survival. Granted we are taught and we read books and hear testimonies of thriving versus surviving, but Hebrews 11 shows us that survival and thrival are both included in Kingdom life – and sometimes not even surviving, but dying.

    Great Word. I love servants who are honest about their labor in the Kingdom. Glamor its not.

    Russell

  2. GREAT post, April! you put into words what i have felt a million times, and have wanted to express to people back in the States! you nailed it here: “You know what really bothers me about being a missionary? So much of daily life is taken up in doing ordinary daily living tasks. It’s not like living on a missions trip”. exactly!

    btw—i also like the cool hippie wallpaper. love you, my friend.

  3. wow i couldn’t have expressed this any better. your heart speaks to many of us in your shoes! thanks for sharing this!

  4. Well said! And . . . the ordinary, daily living tasks usually take MORE time in a foreign country. You almost have to be LIVING it to REALLY understand! Oh, my . . . so many of these poor nationals don’t ever get to do ANYTHING else except the ordinary, daily living tasks. For example, washing clothes by hand, line drying them, folding/pressing them for a family is nearly and every day, all day task. That’s what helps me keep my perspective. Many days of ordinary tasks are worth it when being in the right place in the right time brings you ONE choice moment of ministry!

    • This sentence has been ringing in my head for a few days now “Many days of ordinary tasks are worth it when being in the right place int eh right time brings you ONE choice moment of ministry!” This is a really true and inspiring thought. I’m going to hang on to this one. Thanks Sharon!

  5. Thanks for the comments and support everyone! I guess I’m not the only one who feels like this sometimes. I made some scones today and I feel a little better now. :0)

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  8. Wow, I love this one!!! I agree with Renay, I couldn’t have said it better! This made me feel so much better that I am not the only one who is thinking this!!! Love other Missionary Friends! Helps me know that I am not crazy!!!

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