Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Quote of the Day:  “If God gives you something you can do, why in God's name wouldn't you do it?” ― Stephen King (yes that Stephen King)

Everyone who has gone to college or graduate school has had to take at least one course that they didn't want to take.  However, because of timing, scheduling conflicts, or just forgetting what was needed for graduation, you discovered that you had to take a course you had avoided like the plague.  With me, it was the missions course in seminary.  I knew I would never, ever become a missionary and would spend the rest of my life as a simple parish pastor worrying only about the needs of a small community, or so I thought.  I suffered through the beginning of that course, and then began to really enjoy it.  I still had no intention of ever becoming a missionary, but my understanding of the word mission had changed.  The professor and I got along very well, and, over the past twenty years, she has followed my career.  I'm sure she was quietly pleased to discover that the student who had fought and struggled against the very concept of missions had become a missionary.  We have still communicated over the years I have been here in Africa.  She has gone on to become the Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission at Boston University as well as the director of the Center for Global Christianity and Christian Mission.  She, Dr. Dana Robert, has invited me to be the mission speaker at the Center and at the seminary in the spring of 2013.  They will pay my airfare, accommodations, and provide a small honorarium for me to come and talk about the last eight years here in Bunda, Tanzania.  I gratefully and humbly accepted because maybe this will lead to someone else like me listening to God when the call to mission is made.  I never thought I would say, "Here I am, Lord, send me.", but I did!  Without taking that course I didn't want to take, I don't think I would have listened to God's call.  Happily, I took that course, listened to the call, and followed where I was led.  It was a good thing.  It was a God thing.
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