A note from pre-departure

Every day for the past month at least one person a day has asked me this question or one of striking resemblance: “are you scared?” I know what they’re thinking(because most of them have told me). I’m going to almost the furthest corner of the world by myself to serve a bunch of people I’ve never met with a group of people I’ve never met. I’m going to be working and living in a culture that I know very little about. I’m soon to be living in a place that takes 24 hours to fly to, not counting layovers. Oh and until about three weeks ago, the exact details of the mission I’m partaking in were yet to be determined. Heck, I read that blurb, and my first thought was “you’re either extremely brave or incredibly stupid.” As much as I would like to be described as someone with the heart of a lion who would travel into the belly of the beast with the best of them, I’m not sure that’s true. And though I may have my moments of ignorance and assumption, I tend to believe I’m not stupid. So where does that leave me?

I take my response from Isaiah and Solomon which I suppose puts me seeking to be somewhere between wild faith and unforeseen wisdom:
Isaiah 41:10 says “Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surly help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.”
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 says “This is the one good thing I’ve seen: it’s appropriate for people to eat, drink, and find enjoyment in all their hard work under the sun during the brief lifetime that God gives them because that’s their lot in life. Also, whenever God gives people wealth and riches and enables them to enjoy it, accept their place in the world and to find pleasure in their hard work— all this is God’s gift. Indeed, people shouldn’t brood too much over the days of their lives because God gives an answer in their hearts’ joy.”
All this to say, I believe there to be no room for fear as long as God does his part and I do mine. Because I trust God to lead my feet and keep me safe from harm, that leaves only me to do my lot which I believe is to find joy wherever God leads. There is no such thing as a perfect job, a perfect person(JC excluded), or a perfect life. Constantly searching for something to make you happy and to provide you with perfection is a fools’ errand. What Solomon suggests, however, is to find joy in the work you’ve been given, to seek to be fulfilled with what you’ve been blessed with and to expand upon that rather than to constantly look for the perfect life. I personally have never complained about something and then felt a surge of relief and betterment afterwards, but I have grown to love things that were initially unappealing by finding the elements of beauty within them. One of my favorite examples of this comes from my musical training. I used to despise playing my scales. It’s the same thing every time and a lot of mind-numbing repetition, so why not just make music instead? But my scales I was told to practice, so my scales I played. The more I played them, the more I loved them. They allowed me the opportunity to focus on developing other fundamental skills and suddenly reading music became a lot easier and therefore a lot more enjoyable. There are scales in every task and every job. All we have to do is take a moment to find the joy under the surface of every seemingly annoying or boring task.
And so to answer: no, I’m not scared. I’m excited to see the Lord work and I look forward to the opportunity to find his joyful presence in every moment of work and play.



Eliza Edge
Resident in Mission for World Methodist Evangelism






Comments

  1. You are such a bright light in this world! I can’t wait to see how your light shines on the people of New Zealand!!

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  2. Hey Eliza! Hope you are doing well. I am praying for many blessings upon you and the people you are serving during your time in New Zealand. I hope to be able to meet you in the near future. Blessings, Annie Kate

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