Defining Moments

Recently, with all the hunting for the season completed out  on the farm, I have been doing a bit more reading and a bit more catching up on correspondence.  Coinciding with these responsibilities has been a bit of thinking about why I decided to get into missions work. The crux of why, as I have stated before, is that I wanted to be in a position where I could freely express my love for God, tell others what he has done for me and relay the message that it’s not about us, but about him.

One defining moment in recent history is an interaction I had with my former advisors during a field day presentation “run-through.” A run-through, as you might assume is a practice talk before the real thing. Field days were held once a year out at our research station, where attendees would come in from around the region and participate in talks, workshops and just catch up with old friends at their alma mater, always a really good time.

The talk I was giving was a synopsis of my research, covering the influence that chemicals have on a plants genetic make-up, mixed in with examples of how the environment may additionally influence genetic structure. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Well, it definitely is, at least for a geek like me. The problem with this talk and me was, I just wasn’t that into it. Which was weird, because the topic and the research since getting into it, has always excited me and even excites me to this day.

During this run through, I tried to start out with one of those intros where you ask everyone in the audience to close their eyes and imagine something. What I was attempting, was to get them to pretend they were a plant, living outside in the elements, 24 hours a day, three sixty five a year. The problem with using this type of intro is that it requires a lot of charisma and emotion, in a way, as my advisors told me, you have to go all in.

Following my run through presentation the next day at our reflections meeting one of my advisors, in a instance of giving me some blessed advice, told me exactly this. He told me that the material was good and the wording was fine, but if I was going to stick with that intro, I would have to go all in with it or it would never work.

As I sat at my desk staring at my computer and the outline of the talk, I contemplated what to do about the introduction. I mentally tried to psych myself up for the intro and quarantined myself in the office throughout the night pacing back and forth continuously going over the talk and the same problem kept arising, I just wasn’t that into it.

A question and reflection repeatedly held the same conversation in my mind. The question of why, as it sometimes does, kept pounding on my brain and in reflection I would ask myself, why can’t you do this, why aren’t you into this.

As I prayed for help and for a revelation for the best decision moving forward I heard God’s voice tell me why. What I heard and know to this day is that this talk and intro wasn’t for him and therefore it wasn’t that exciting. It was about me or it was about someone else. This talk and intro became a defining moment for me in that office in the wee hours of that night.

What was revealed to me was that the only way in life that would lead me to a position of going all in emotionally and spiritually, would be to go all in for Christ. Yes, God saved me again that night and he saved me from being boring (probably debatable, I’ll wait for rebuttal).

Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20 NAS).

This is a defining moment. This is recognition of Paul being subject to our Father’s mission and not to his own. Why doesn’t matter if your focused on God, because he is all the why we need. If it’s for him and done out of love, then it’s enough to move people spiritually and enough to fulfill us the entirety of our lives. TBC, Amen.

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