Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yearning to leave, needing to stay, and a bigger question

Last night was inspiring. It was one of those discussions that reminds me of a passion that I am holding a bay for a bit longer. Meg Garner shared about her trip to Africa this past summer. She talked about building libraries and little girls in new dresses. As she talked I remembered school girls asking heart breaking questions about how to get their school fees paid for and poverty beyond anything I have ever suffered through. This little spark of passion in my heart remembered everything I desired and longed for, for so many years.

As I watched the films Meg created for us I wondered if my longing to live in the developing world will ever be fulfilled? If I will ever combat hunger and poverty and hopelessness outside of the comfort of my fabulous urban life? If I still believe the gospel is good news worth telling? That last question is really the one that is more than I can wrap my mind around these days.

I am not sure how to explain this. I am not doubting the story of Jesus to transform lives. I am at a loss for how the story of Jesus can best be shared as good news to a world that is physically hungry, to girls that are purposely oppresses, to people who are in slavery. I want to be a preacher, a pastor, and a missionary, but I have to help people be fed, I have to work towards an end to slavery and I have to know if I can tell the story of Jesus as a complete story. How do I tell the good news as Good News?

For much of my life my faith was focused on life after death (after all eternity lasts longer). However, over the past few years I have decided that if the gospel is only good news after you are dead, it isn't good news. I am working towards a faith that is present in this life. To be clear I don't think there is anything wrong with the story of Jesus, it is more the part where I am involved in the telling of it, and my own experience of it that I am sorting through, and the part where I don't think I can rightly be a missionary until I work through it a bit more. Odd, how I thought I was so ready at 18 and 2 weeks shy of 28 I am overwhelmed by doubt.

Funny thing: that is not where I was expecting this blog post to go. I was planning to talk about my wanderlust and my overwhelming desire to travel soon. Oh well, that will be another post. For now I am admitting that I miss the days of excitement about just moving overseas and telling people the good news. The naivete has faded and I miss it.

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