I recently talked to some friends of mine about what we are going to be doing, where we are going, and everything we know about how things will happen. We also talked about why we are going. In my attempt to explain the why of it all—something that I’m asked often and something that I always feel like I struggle to communicate—I learned something new about myself that even surprised me.
I have felt like going is what I was supposed to do with my life since before I was a teenager. For as long as I can remember—since I was old enough to think about doing something with my life—this has been it. Though the reasons and motivations behind that feeling have grown over time.
At first this seemed like something that I wanted to do for me. I wanted adventure. I wanted to travel the world, I wanted to experience fun, amazing things but honestly the main reason was because I wanted to live a life that mattered. I wanted to be able to say that my life counted for something that was important. I saw a huge need. A need that seemed bigger than anything else I could imagine so I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life other than trying to meet that need. Honestly though, the need I was meeting was mostly selfish. I felt like I needed to matter. I felt like I needed to be a big deal. I couldn’t imagine getting to the end of my life and not feeling like the world wasn’t a better place by me being in it. I was so full of myself and so sure that the world needed me. I had a lot of growing up to do, and still do for that matter.
Later as a teenager, I still felt the same call. I still knew what I would ultimately do with my life. However, my main motivation changed. I began to understand what it really meant that so many people around the world didn’t know the Father and what would happen to them because of that. My heart broke for them. It still does today more than ever. Now instead of doing something for me I began to be motivated to do something for them. I began to talk about, read, and learn about sacrifice. I was again blown away by my growing understanding of the need and I was haunted by faces in my dreams of people who just didn’t know and I wanted to do anything I could for them to have that hope for their lives. I heard the words “how will they hear unless someone tells them” over and over in my mind.
As a young adult in my mid-twenties, I began to learn a new concept that motivated me in my calling. I learned that everything was ultimately created to make a big deal out of my Father. There are lot of different big complicated words to describe this concept but all that I knew was that my Father had given the greatest gift of love the world could ever know in His Son and that His Son had given his life. This shook me as I realized now that the main reason I wanted to do what I’m doing is because the “lamb who was slain deservers the reward of His suffering.” I wanted the world to know that gift for His sake. I wanted everyone to recognize the Father and Son are worthy of every single person’s recognition.
This hasn’t been a process of change. This has very much been a process of growth. I’ve had my times of being prideful and some of just being confused and wrong but mostly it’s been a beautiful process of growing into the person that the Father has been working in me for so long.
Then last week a thought popped into my head that explained a lot of what I’ve been feeling for a while now. I don’t know why and I can’t really explain it well but lately I have been so overwhelmed by a massive, incredibly overwhelming at times, feeling. However, this has been by far my most simple motivation yet:
I just want to be there.
I still want my life to matter. I still am heartbroken by the lost there, and I still want to live for the recognition of the Lamb. However, lately, mostly, I just want to be there. I’ve been reminded that my life can matter anywhere, that there are lost people everywhere, and that the only real way that I can affect the recognition of the Lamb is if it happens in my own life first. I just want to be there. I see pictures of people from our country and I want to sit with them. I want to hear them. I want to drink their tea, breathe their air, and walk on their ground. I don’t know if this makes sense or if I’m once again failing to really communicate this but to sum it up: I’m ready to go, not just because of what could happen when we get there but more because of what has happened to me already. Going has no longer become a thing to do… it has become who I am.
I’ve said that I’ve been “called” to go but it’s so much more than that now. Now to not go wouldn’t just be disobedience, it would be betraying who I am. People ask me how I know for sure that I’ve been “called” to this, that this is exactly what the Father wants me to do. I honestly don’t know if I can answer that. What I do know as of this last week is that it’s not so much about me hearing a voice telling me something has to happen as much as it has been a process of making me into this life. All these motivations are still there and still very real but now I also add the truth that, for me, this is the person I am. This life, this place, this people, this time; it’s not just a command, it’s become who I am and for this time. And I miss it. I’ve never been there, but somehow I miss it. My need to accomplish is fading away and being replaced by the desire to be. I just need to be what He is making me to be.