Thursday, March 31, 2005

Missions and the crucified life

Missions occasionally puts things in perspective. Today in missions class we were having a guest lecturer who’d grown up in a mud and thatch hut roughly the size of a small classroom 30 miles walk through the mountains from the nearest working electricity in Columbia (not exactly a nation-wide Baldor plant in the first place) with his 5 person family. They lived with a particular stone aged people and his parents are still there going on 40 years. He is a missionary in Albania (the only country to outlaw and persecute all religions), stayed when it went into anarchy, and now teaches at the theological school that has formed in that country.
When asked about the sacrifices it took to be a missionary he had a sobering message: How much do American sacrifice every day for lesser things? Think about going to med school. Years and years of tiring work, often while accepting being broke, often postponing the creation of a family, frequently miles and miles away from the family you do have, all because there is a goal there that the person feels is worth it - a good job. What about getting a PhD? How much do some completely secular folk sacrifice just to be able to grind their axes with whatever part of "the establishment" happens to be on their negative list?

We often like to wear our crosses around, but are we willing to live the crucified life? This was the challenge our professor of missions left us at the end. Haunting words. I have to ask myself, am I called to such missions? Could I rough it in these ways? I wonder... I really really wonder.

Sadly, I can’t answer the question. Is this my calling? If it is will I respond? Perhaps baby steps are necessary. I should test the field and see if I have the qualities necessary. So many blessings are possible when we do as our liturgy suggests and "lay aside all earthly cares". This is my favorite part of the liturgy (besides a well done homily). I pray that I can internalize these words and make them my true mission in life. I pray that I can live the crucified life mirroring Christ to the best of my humble ability, yet as of now I can’t say I’m there. It’s a lifelong process and we shall see where it leads.


Post a Comment

<< Home