Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
Published in the December 7, 2016 issue of The Bells
Going to a Christian university can be hard when you’re not called to every single cause that is presented to you.It sometimes seems like every student spends their summer feeding orphans in Africa or building homes in the Ukraine. When a numerous amout of classmates discuss their plans to enter the mission field, it can be intimidating. I became familiar with the pressure to find “my cause” while attending a private Christian high school. Friends who were passionate about their cause would employ tactics that pulled at my heartstrings and stoked the fire in my soul so that I felt connected to a specific cause. While the intention behind the phenomenon is pure, it can sometimes give those not called to a particular cause anxiety about not feeling that call. I couldn’t be more excited for my friends jetting off to the far reaches of the world this upcoming summer. But I’m not called to international missions, and that’s okay.
I’m allowed to empathize with a picture of an orphan without needing to catch the next flight overseas to care for them. I’m allowed to love on missionaries and support them and not desire to follow in their footsteps. I’m allowed to serve and do missions right where I am.This doesn’t mean that I don’t have the faith that missionaries do, or that I’m more materialistic, or that I’m far from God. Quite the contrary. It actually means that despite the pressures from within the community of Christians, I know God will use me. I can take comfort that He is going to use me just as missionaries overseas.
So, if you’re not feeling the tug of international missions, it’s not because you’re weak. It’s not because God doesn’t want you or that you’re not listening hard enough. The world that God has created is a mission field, and every soul not bound to the Father is an orphan. Jesus made us to worship Him and to do the good works He has created for us. And that doesn’t just mean overseas. It means everywhere.