Folks are binge-watching multiple seasons of “Game of Thrones” while Satan does his best Night King impression on the hearts of everyone around us.
That show is less of a fiction than we think. Imagine Jon Snow sitting in a castle somewhere, endlessly munching mutton by a roaring fire, perusing books of philosophy as Westeros falls apart around him. I’m afraid that picture is all too close to our daily lives. (I hope my GoT metaphors aren’t too far off – I’ve never seen the show.)
Last night, my students spoke keenly of the ease of staying “on task” on the mission field versus at home, about how easy it is to tell others about Jesus, spot service opportunities, or just take time out of the day to sit with a lonely person, when you’re on a mission field – compared to being back “home” doing our everyday lives.
I’ve run into this. I love mission trips, and one reason I love them is because you’re in an altered frame. Distractions are refreshingly absent. When you’re at home, that’s not the case. Schedules, classes, work projects, home projects, and family life rush back onto center stage.
It was my students’ words that helped me put my finger on my problem.
We’re not at home.
Indeed, we groan while we are in this tent, burdened we are, because we do not want to be unclothed but clothed, so that mortality may be swallowed up by life. And the One who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.
So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:4-6)
It’s when we reach God for good that we’ll finally be home. Until then…
Being “in the field” – in another city or country, or perhaps simply a local mission for the evening – is a refreshing exercise in focus. You’re removed from television, chores, work, maybe even your phone, free to just do what God calls us to do.
But get back to whatever earthly tent we’re paying rent for, and it’s back to the distractions.
The United States is one of the world’s biggest mission fields now. We get into political bickerings to fight for our comfort zone and forget that we’re not home yet in the first place.
Given that our true destiny awaits at Jesus’ side, how much of our sense of “being at home” is just an illusion? How much of it can be cast aside simply by treating our technology and hobbies as we would if we were across the ocean? It might be as simple as a mental exercise.
Paul tells us that our current address is a tent. Perhaps we’d do well to live as restlessly as one would in a tent. May we do so for the sake of those around us.
I’m glad you tuned in today. If you found this post to be of value, please feel free to share it on social media. Thanks a bunch!