Coming home from a short-term mission or spiritual retreat is always bitter-sweet.
On one hand, you have this odd desire to keep traveling, embracing this nomadic servant leadership lifestyle as a permanent gig. On the other hand, you crave the comforts and securities that come with getting home to family and friends. I really think our students got a taste of this bitter-sweet feeling as we traveled home this week.
While on trip, they shared this incredible discipleship experience and found true community through service. I’m sure they didn’t expect to be challenged and changed as much as they were when they stepped on the bus that first day. But by the end of the trip, they are more like brothers and sisters, than peers or even friends. It is so hard to give that up.
This considered, I can’t help but to wonder how the disciples felt? Did the disciples get home sick? Or were they too excited about the adventure that was set before them?
It certainly wasn’t the safe decision to follow this Rabi that was to be the Messiah? As they traveled, living the disciple-life, did they get a few months into the discipleship and consider the fact that they may not ever get home again?
Our students were only gone for twelve days and they knew when they were going home. Maybe I shouldn’t have told them? Obviously, I am not directly paralleling myself to Christ in discipleship, but what would happen if they didn’t know when they would return? Would they still have got on the bus?
Perhaps that was the key to Jesus’ call to the disciples; the unknown! The fisherman story is the best in my book. These guys simply dropped their nets and followed Christ. They gave up their entire trade and livelihood to embrace discipleship!
Think about it; that’s crazy! I would like to say that I could do that, but I doubt it. Now obviously, it would be difficult with the responsibilities of a wife and children, but maybe they could come too?
Realistically though, I like to control my environment. I need my securities of schedules and agendas to depend on. Now that I’m writing it, I’m sure God is preparing to break them down. Maybe one day, our family will be on a mission trip somewhere and God will call us to simply not get back on the bus.
Have you ever been on short-term mission and considered not getting back on the bus?