Tuesday, January 26, 2010

BOLDNESS

How many Office fans are out there?

Okay, in my last post I wrote about a great missionary, and now I'm writing about a sometimes-lewd TV series. Ummm...I have no explanation.

There is an Office episode where Pam, the secretary, walks over hot coals and then announces to the whole group that they treat her like she doesn't exist. Then she proclaims her love for Jim. (I love Aaron, so disregard that part.) The whole point of me referencing this episode is that after that incident, Pam becomes more bold. She stops saying whatever people want to hear, and she begins to voice her opinion.

Lately, I can identify with Pam.

Aaron and I went to several conferences over the break, and we came home with a strong desire to be bold. I must add that both of us are very non-confrontational people (I fight with family, but that's about it). We are listeners; we are comforters; we like people and we like them to like us. We are realizing that getting people to like us is not what life is about. Life is about being a follower of Christ. If Christ calls us to say hard, but true, things, then we cannot stay silent. Sometimes, as our friend Jarod has said, you must risk relationship for truth.

Working with youth and college students gives a lot of opportunity to be bold.

But, I hope I never excuse snappy by labeling it as bold. I'm afraid that's what happened to me today. I'm filling in at the job I used to have. Two people--one in person and one on the phone--were rude to me, and I responded much more strongly than I normally would. Instead of meekly taking their lashings, I was firm (and maybe rude too?).

Ahhhh balance. I don't know. Is it okay to be firm? I don't want to be rude. I do want to speak truth and not be a doormat.

Just some jumbled thoughts from life. Haven't had time to process them into something neat, so the blog gets the mental vomit. Nice image to leave on, eh?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

missions

There is nothing like reading a missionary biography to kick my butt. (In the best way possible.) I read the story of Mary Slessor this week, and I am again amazed at how missions of the 19th century looked so different from missions of the 21st. Yes, we have made good advances since then--contextualization, moved away from white imperialism, ecetera, but those pioneers of the faith were playing at stakes that very few of us choose to today. I remember a missions instructor in college saying that in the early days of foreign missions, "short term" missions meant packing your stuff in a coffin as you headed to the field because you might not live longer than a few years. So different from today, when we can hop on a jet to the other side of the world for a few weeks. I'm not saying all short term missions are wrong; it is just sobering how easy and quick and painless they often are.

Mary's life makes me want to be more bold. Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ really the most important thing to me? Am I living toward my eternal home or living grasping the dirt here?