Friday, August 10, 2012

A Passion for Tomorrow

Here I sit. It's 2 am and I've had a major break through. For some reason, my profound moments always seem to occur at the most inconvenient times. Compassion. It's always on my mind. No, not "having" compassion, but my previous place of employment, Compassion International. I loved every part of my job, and I continually wish for what was. We have an opportunity of a life time and we are living it up, so to say, here in Europe. Yet, a huge part of me has never let go of what we left behind.

At Compassion I loved my job, the people, relationships with people, the leadership, and most importantly the purpose for which I worked; To release children from poverty, in Jesus' name. I miss having an important role; if I didn't get my work done, it affected child sponsorships. What I did mattered. Now, I love teaching PE. But, if there was not a PE class, wouldn't children just drive their teachers crazy with extra amounts of energy? Does teaching Physical Education really make a significant and meaningful impact in a child's life?

It's been hard to find my calling and purpose overseas. It's not what I had imagined. It didn't go as I had planned. I'm not some heroin rescuing women from human trafficking. I have not adopted a child that is needing a loving home. I have not brought joy and happiness to countless Ukrainian orphans. Have I only been sitting in idle since I crossed over the Atlantic?

As a Christian I always feel as though I must be "doing," yet, I can't work my way to heaven. However there is also the thought, "faith without deeds is dead." So which is it?

An "Aha!" moment struck as I was enjoying the evening with a very special friend.  As I shared how I have not found my purpose in Ukraine and have not seen an impact from our work here, she indirectly pointed out something that opened my eyes. What is my day to day life saying to the world?

Maybe we do not need to be involved with something specific and count up the hours, the jobs well done, charity passed out, miracles witnessed, or the emotional investment in a project. And although the world is in need of humanity's goodwill, perhaps it's as important to live faith out in our day to day; letting it shine in the essence of our character.

So, now here I am at 2 am wondering what this means. I am a hard worker, and enjoy having a lot on my to do list. I enjoy being productive. I love the reward of writing a list with boxes to check off and making my way through the list. I can't sit still. I want to be God's hands and feet, touching the world; making an impact for him.

Is faith without deeds (clubs, projects, ministries, specific or volunteer work) really dead? The question to ask is not, "What am I doing as a Christian," but maybe it's, "How am I living my life as a Christian." Who am I when no one else is watching? How am I spending my money and resources? How do I choose to respond in my anger? What do I give my time to? Am I just doing my job or am I caring for my students as individuals?

My greater purpose is not to have a specific ministry to belong, but to let my life be that ministry; serving, helping, and loving others naturally.  My impact occurs not in a planned and controlled project or group, but in daily encounters.  It's in choosing to love and date my incredible husband of 8 years, giving my daughter a kiss when I'm frustrated, going to my students' games in support, buying the most wilted ugly flowers from the babushka trying just to survive and make a living. It's in the little things.

Moving forward I hope to seize ever opportunity to live for something greater. To make better choices. To love deeper, smile longer, and laugh harder than before. I pray my life, in the day to day, is not a series of "to do" but has a passion that pours out into the world around me. May my focus not be in comparing the present with the past, but in new adventures and daily blessings that lie ahead.


Rose said...

Girl, after leaving Compassion almost 2 years ago, and missing it Every Single Day, I completely understand what you are talking about. One of the things the Lord has really been teaching me lately is that my entire purpose on this earth is to glorify HIM! And it seems that when I'm feeling the most detached from my sense of calling and direction and purpose, is also when I'm the most focused on me and what I want and how I feel. But the insecurities and empty, purposeless feelings become mild background noise when I'm focused on loving Him, talking to Him, learning about Him, and worshiping Him. The Westminster Shorter Chatechism starts with the question, "What is man's chief end?" and the answer is "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." I hope and pray that you grow more and more in your enjoyment of God, and that you find fulfillment in living out your love for Him each day!

manycoloured-days said...

Funnily I found your blog by googling 'giving birth in Kiev' (I'm yet to see that part). I'm reading through:)
I understand what you're trying to say but there is just one thing - it really does not matter what you do, teaching P.E. is just fine - it's who you are that will make a difference in the lives of the children you teach.