We've arrived. 'Tis the season to join arms with just about every family in our small town and surrounding areas to cheer on our young ones as they compete in what some would consider America's greatest pastime. Softball. Baseball.
I still hear it from my sister, the softball star. I'd look up from my book just long enough to watch her bat, then down went the nose and I was back to the grindstone.
My son understands the temptation to self-entertain when the going gets slow in a sibling game.
But now I pay attention.That's my daughter out there. I laugh. I cheer.
Even when the slow roller inches its way across the infield and the pitcher, shortstop, and third baseman all descend upon it like owls on a mouse. They collide like the actors in those heartfelt family misfit comedies, and we laugh like they're behind a screen and can't hear us.
And after a few more of those little mishaps you begin to thank Jesus for the long ride home because otherwise you just might be tempted to turn these collisions into a drinking game.
I've been playing closer attention lately, perhaps also because I've been struggling with this whole position-playing life of ours. When do I bat? Or am I already doing that? Or am I on deck? Surely I'm deck for something really great- some really great act of faith for the furthering of God's kingdom. On deck, right? No? In the dugout? Or am I more defensive, fighting the urge to field a mission meant for someone else?
See what I mean? It gets tricky.
Last weekend, I had the most amazing opportunity that I don't take often enough. I had an afternoon to listen to missionaries to Hong Kong, and then participate in the sending of five missionaries, some to Lima and Peru. There is no where in the world like Mission Central. No. where.
With tears for every story, I listened and wondered, "Could I do that?" "Why am I not doing that?"
"Lord, could you call my family to do that?"
Because there is something so attractive about light shining in the darkness. And you just want to grab a hint of it.
After the presentations and sending, Gary introduced me to one of his dear friends (I've never met a man with more)- I was Lauren, "the real missionary."
I smiled a blurry smile as Gary's words hit me in the way I knew he intended.
My heart had been aching for what it already had.
I watch those around me fielding missions God has meant for them, all the while forgetting that the mission I serve is still His mission. Like my daughter, I look longingly at those playing different, "important," positions and wonder why not me, ignoring that He has been training me all along for the position I am in.
We don't have to question where we play, when we know for Whom we play.
We don't have to anticipate the next great act of faith when the One in whom we place our faith makes every act great.
He is the definition of great,
We don't have to determine the magnitude of our mission, when the Mission Himself has already acted on behalf of all humankind. It is His mission, we are just witnesses to it, living in gratitude for it.
Because as much as I absolutely love being a wife and mother, daughter, sister, friend, it's not really about me anyway. It's about Him. There is peace in that. Joy, love, and hope.