Remember the media hype and confusion recently over Sheryl Sandberg’s campaign to ban the word “bossy?” I never really understood it all. Probably because I really didn’t take the time to. Actually, the thoughts I saw flying around social media left me uninterested.
Probably because, as a mom, I’d rather my daughter come off bossy than the opposite — lacking self-esteem. Bossy can be disciplined to be humble confidence, where as the opposite would mean my daughter would feel like she had nothing of value to offer.
But enough hubbub about the word bossy.
There’s another word and phrase that’s been playing havoc on my soul.
Have you ever wanted to be a missionary?
For years I wanted God to call me out specifically to be a “really cool” missionary. You know the ones that go and live in the back villages of Africa or the dusty roads of Haiti. I wanted an out-of-the-ordinary story. One where others could say, “WOW, that’s amazing how God called her to a foreign country to be a missionary.”
I wanted to make a difference and it seemed somehow then that all the difference-makers served in foreign countries.
If you’ve been hanging out here at Positively Alene awhile, you know that God didn’t call me to villages or dusty roads. Instead, He called me to serve my family, church, and the inner-city streets in my home town. You can just imagine how I argued with God about this. Not that I mind serving, but it didn’t seem cool enough. It didn’t seem . . . important — it was so ordinary.
To the Nations.
I grew up quoting and knowing scriptures, which I am so thankful for. But I wonder if some of the wording didn’t influence my thought processes. Go to the nations. Speak to the nations. Teach the nations.
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations . . . Matthew 28:19 NLT
I’ve even lived in different nations and didn’t feel “called” to be a missionary there. It felt like a missionary was specifically called there to make a difference. Well, I was just called there because I was the wife of a military pilot who was stationed there.
My thought processes were wrong. Nations are people. All nations. All people.
Why on earth did I think that being a missionary meant being called to a far off nation? If Jesus called us to ALL nations, then what about my own nation? What about my own people? All people. Everyone! I love the Message version of the same scripture:
Jesus said, “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life . . .Matthew 28:19 MSG
You are a missionary.
If you are hanging on in hopes that God will one day call you to be a missionary, He already has. You are a missionary. And your mission field lies all around you full of people near and far. Your missionary field is in your home, work place, grocery-store, park, and anywhere else you find your weary body.
Jesus commands we go and serve people. So, if you are a Jesus-lover — you are a missionary. Anywhere. Anytime. Every place. Every body.
Seriously, you aren’t called. It’s your purpose. Once you’ve raised your hand to follow Jesus, you’ve signed up to be a missionary. It should be a way of life. The crazy thing is that we are all missionaries and we don’t even realize it. We sit around praying, wishing, and hoping that God will call us to make a difference, while he’s just hoping we’ll step up and make a difference right where we are.
Where you are is your mission field! It’s that simple. [click to tweet]
Have you been waiting on the call to missions? Wait no longer! Raise you head and walk in confidence knowing you are a missionary. Right here. Right now.
Let’s ban this phrase “I want to be a missionary.” We ARE missionaries!