Real Mission: Drawn By The Spirit
I know this may be hard for some of you to believe, but when I was a budding pre-teen, I used to skip class on a not infrequent basis. Mostly I skipped music class (sorry Brett Scott). My music teacher was not very engaging, and there was something else drawing me away from that tiny classroom filled with middle-schoolers playing tambourines. It would seem likely from that scenario, that I was driven out, but really, it wasn’t that. I was drawn to something else. The differences between being driven and being drawn are not always easily distinguished.
Holy Scripture even confuses or conflates the two but they really are different forces.
Mark 1:12 “And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness."
Matthew 4:1 “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."
Luke 4:1 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil."
*Of course, John has nothing to say about the matter.
Now, before you get any crazy ideas about the nefarious dealings or shady characters that drew me away from music class, I have to tell you that the thing I was drawn to was not at all wicked; unless you only see it as a tool for perpetuating gender stereotypes. You see, while I sat in music class, from down the hall, came the sweet smell of deliciously fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, and just like that, the home economics classroom was calling my name. That’s what they used to call it “Home Ec.” I believe the title now is “Family and Consumer Sciences."
Now judge not, lest ye be judged, but that Home Ec. class had my name written all over it. Honestly, it was mostly because of the food; but there was something else there that pulled me in. A mysterious machine, largely foreign to me and my peers . . . the sewing machine. These machines were intriguing to us because they were uncommon. When I was a kid, it was rare to have a parent that raised children as their full-time job, and it was even more rare to have a parent at home who knew how to sew, and who was willing to teach you. I skipped music class because I wanted to practice sewing as much as possible. We didn’t have a machine at home, and I desperately wanted to make that stuffed panda for my friend Courtney who lived down the street.
I could never have known that years later, this skill, that used to be about making plushy animals and pretty dresses would be helping to save lives.
That’s the beauty of being drawn to something. You may not know at the time what that skill will be used for in the reconciliation of people with God and one another, but if you can trust that your talents will be called upon in God’s good time, then joy can be found in putting your efforts toward something that pulls you in.
My childhood friend Courtney is now a Physician Assistant. Every day she wears a mask to help prevent the spread of the corona virus COVID-19; and those who sew are being asked to use their skills to help equip these saints for the work of ministry.
Now, sewing might not be your thing; but I believe that God draws us all into discovering our gifts for mission in unlikely ways. I wonder what as drawn you in your past, in your present, and still, in the future. The Spirit draws us into the work of mission for the restoration of the world. You possess skills and gifts that are meant to be shared. Maybe today is a good day to make a list of all your amazing attributes, your inspired characteristics, your remarkable qualities.
Start with this:
- I am a beloved child of God.
- I matter to my neighborhood.
- I am open to being drawn by the Spirit.
Tags: Real Mission Blog