Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How a Lost Tooth Teaches Us about Mission

Yesterday, our second son lost his tooth. He was acting like a dog biting a towel and his brother pulled it out. Immediately they both yelled that his tooth came out.

I guess it's the little stuff like this that matters most. When I decided I would give my life to some form of pastoral leadership, I envisioned all the great stuff I would due to impact the world. All the sermons, the miracles, the conversions, and of course the big church to go along. But today God was in the midst of a lost tooth. And the reality is that on most days I find that God is actually moving in the little, the insignificant, the easily missed. In the simple conversation with a child I find the wonder of life and the mystery of God.

But these little "whisper" moments are easily overlooked. Since God is big and the problems of the world are enormous, we tend to assume that the things that God wants to do are grand in nature. After all, it is big programs and creative ministries that get the press. While we all revere Mother Theresa, none of us really see that she had no big program, no social agenda, no world transformation plan. She simply joined God in little things every day. And it was the little things stacked on top of each other that made her life grand.

God is at work in our world; the Spirit moves on mission but in ways "whispiring" ways that we often don't even consider to involve God. When we think about mission our minds first go to big stuff like ministering to the poor, seeking social justice, sharing the message of Jesus with a non Christian. These are important, but there is another aspect of mission. What about simply being attentive to the mystery of what God is up to in those around us. In a conversation with a neighbor or co-worker, or listening to joy over a lost tooth.

How do we develop the ability to do this? This is the question that drove me to write Difference Makers.

1 comment:

Andrew Mason said...

I'm reminded of "Practicing the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence...