Scene 1: You paddle down the Amazon River for 6 hours and endure what feels like 600 mosquito bites. You’re part of a missionary team sent to live with a tribe in the middle of the rain forest for the next decade. You tie your canoe to a tree, and your translator asks around for your local contact. You meet him, and then carry your one backpack of stuff to your new home… a 5′ diameter thatch hut. What do you do next?
Scene 2: You walk out your front door, like you do every day. You head to your car, get in and start driving; maybe to work, or to school, or to a ballgame, or shopping. You wave to your neighbor without giving it much thought (his name is either Jim or John, you’re not sure which). You grab a quick lunch, maybe sitting in a deli or grabbing it through a drive-thru window. When you get home, you mow your lawn, or sit down to Netflix, or try to catch up on laundry or housecleaning. What do you do next?
We would probably approach the first scene with more missionary intentionality; that’s what we imagine when we think “missionary”. But, in God’s mind, the second scene is to have the same missionary intentionality. And most of us live a life closer to that second scene.
Your community is filled with neighbors, coworkers, classmates, and friends who need Jesus… just as it is where other missionaries are. We were sent where we are by God, just as He sent other missionaries where they are.
If we’re honest about life in the second scene, “what we do next” is pretty much the same as we did yesterday… and the day before that… and the week before that… and the month before that… and the year before that, etc.
We get in our daily rut… and forget that God has put us where He needs us… for a purpose.
So, look outside. Who do you see? What are their names? What do they do? What do they love? Do you know them well enough to know whether or not they love Jesus?
Each of us were placed by God where we are. And we have a job to do.
So, what do we do next?