On an evening not long ago in a church sanctuary while the lights burned low, this is what came to my heart. When I got done writing I breathed a sigh of relief. I hope you’ll do the same when you finish reading . . .
This is easy to forget: God doesn’t value a far-off there more than an ordinary and near here. And every there for us is someone else’s here.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. (Psalm 24:1)
Yes, a few are called to go but most are called to stay and this is no lesser of a story to be living. If God is everywhere, and He tells us that He is, then He loves all the earth and we can serve Him in any corner of it—including the one at the end of our own street. And we are all missionaries because none of us are “Home.” We are all in a foreign place, in a culture where we are not true citizens but sojourners.
Our citizenship is in heaven. (Philippians 3:20)
We can honor God in the familiar. We can seek Him in the sameness. We do not have to go anywhere but to Him in order for us to be useful in His Kingdom. For those called to step on a plane or a train or boat . . . go with the blessing of God. For those called to stay in a kitchen or a conference room or at a desk in a class . . . stay with the blessing of God.
“Missionary” simply means someone who has or is on a mission.
If that’s the case then we all bear that name. Yes, let’s give special care and honor to those for whom it is also an occupation. But in doing so let’s not diminish the privilege we all have of being part of a great mission too.
We have been sent. You have been sent. I have been sent. We were sent the second the first spark of life flickered in our mother’s womb. To this earth. And now to wherever we are today.
So let’s not be afraid or feel guilty. Let’s not believe that there is a more “spiritual” location to be. Let’s never let our hearts be convinced God is not as fully here as He is on some distant continent.
Instead let’s take off our shoes and our misconceptions and declare that this is holy ground too. Because God is here. He is in this moment. Perhaps even more miraculous, He is in us. And that is what He wants us to bring to wherever we are, wherever we go — not our talent or our goodness, our knowledge or our niceness. God Himself.
Do you want to know where God is asking you to serve and bless and bring Him glory right now? You only need to look down at the one-foot square of humble, sacred earth beneath your feet. The only place on this spinning globe where both you and God are present in this moment. The one where you can always make a difference.