What’s in it for me?

“I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

This note in a Christmas card was written in regard to my upcoming mission trip to Rwanda. The comment itself is well-meaning and I didn’t take offense to it. However, it’s been sitting funny on my conscience since I read it. It’s simply an uncomfortable feeling… like when you put your underwear on backward… you know what I mean?

It’s not about me.

I am quite excited to have the opportunity to go because it has been on my heart for several years. Each time a new team was heading out, I wondered when I might go. I also wondered what I was doing that wasn’t pleasing God– Why wasn’t I going yet?

I believe a true spiritual calling is planted in ones heart but it isn’t something one should facilitate by their own ability. You should be in tune with the holy spirit to know that it is indeed Gods calling and Gods timing. Going out before you are called is like showing up at a dance you weren’t invited to. It’s not the best analogy but I can relate to the pit in my stomach feeling. You walk in, everyone turns and looks, the music stops, and you see the guy you thought you were meeting is dancing with another girl. It is a bad analogy but I think you get my drift. I don’t want to be that person.

In preparation for the trip to Rwanda, our team meets regularly to discuss the trip, share updates, and prepare the message we are bringing. One of the things we each needed to do was to personalize a scripture to address an issue that challenges us.

My life verse is Romans 12:2. The first time I took it to heart was September 2001. It stopped me in my tracks and spun me 180 degrees from where my life was heading. I refer to it often and now I find Romans 12:3 is now leaping off the page when I read it.

“Because of the grace allotted to me, I can respectfully tell you not to think of yourselves as being more important than you are; devote your minds to sound judgment since God has assigned to each of us a measure of faith.”

Missions.
Volunteerism.
Philanthropy.

… all of these worthwhile actions can easily become self-affirming, self-glorifying, self-satisfying, self-centered. I am excited to share this experience with my friends but I am trying to remain in the right mindset as to why I am going. I cannot pin it down to a task or goal. It comes down to one thing… obedience. If I were to take any credit for this opportunity it will taint the experience.

It’s not about me.
It’s not about me!

I didn’t do anything deserving of this blessing except to listen and follow. His timing is such that I am in a place where, as Romans 12:1 says, I can “offer myself as a living sacrifice”. It is God’s timing and His provision. With thanksgiving, my heart and mind are completely open to being used for Him. I need to be still and wait for the prompting.

The past year He asked me to meditate on the word HUMBLE. It was such an amazing and enlightening journey. The bible offers much wisdom regarding humility and warnings for pride. One of my favorite stories comes from Luke 7.

“Listen, if you lift yourself up, you’ll be put down, but if you humble yourself, you’ll be honored.”

I certainly don’t want to jockey for a seat at the head table and be asked to leave. I won’t get my undies in a bundle over the comment my well-meaning friend wrote but I will do what I can to give God the glory for every aspect of this journey. He is amazing!

I can’t keep this experience to myself. I need to witness.
I must to carefully witness to encourage and inspire others while glorifying God.
I need to be humble.

It’s not about me.
It’s not about me.
It’s not about me!

It’s about them.
It’s about Him.
Not what’s in it for me.
Not at all!

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