As a young person, my mind has often been full of dreams. Some of them can get a little wild, crazy and unrealistic and we can be thankful they will likely never happen. But then all of a sudden one day, a dream comes along and grows as the desire grows stronger, and for once it actually seems to be within reach. No, it doesn't necessarily make sense but it appears very possible, and now suddenly I'm filled with fears.
As I've been thinking about what I want to do with my life and the places I want to go, I've been struck with an interesting challenge. I mean, if your dream is to go be a missionary in some third world country and you're willing to go, that's great, right? Isn't it wonderful that many young people want to go out and serve the Lord and other people? It would certainly seem so.
But what if that young person fails to live out their faith on the home front? What if that young person fails to put into practice and apply the knowledge he or she already has? Going to a great Bible school or to the mission field is great, but if you're not living things out right where you are, I can't help but wonder what's the point? I'm speaking of myself.
Now, I don't want to be negative here. Please don't get that impression. But as I've been dreaming, I've come to realize one thing. I've read so many great books on Christian living, heard so much great teaching and learned so much, but it seems that it all remains head knowledge. I'm failing to apply the principles and live out what I'm learning where I am. Until I can do that, would I be effective or would it even be beneficial to shoot for something else?
The truth is, we have a mission field all around us. And truth be told, a lot us, myself on top of the list, are being really lazy missionaries. We take in so much head knowledge and can enthusiastically utter all the Amens! and Preach-it-brothers! but our lives display little of what we so heartily agree with or believe in. We can say "Yes, the world is dying and going to hell. Yes, they need to hear the Gospel. Yes, somebody needs to go tell them about Jesus, etc. Oh, now look at the time. I have so much to do yet at home. See you Sunday!"
We don't need to go anywhere else to share the Gospel. There are people all around us who are hurting and have yet to hear and see a true demonstration of God's love. Even just in our own homes, do we demonstrate the love of Christ, or are we just another person who goes to church?
I must admit that I can be very shy and hate approaching new people, especially to share the Gospel. I'm a fan of my security and I like to stay where it's safe. I can't stand not knowing things and want to be sure that everything is going to work out all right in all circumstances. Now, if I'm like this at home, how am I possibly going to react somewhere else? I have to learn here to put my security in God, not my circumstances.
This is what I'm being convicted of lately. Yes, I have dreams that are absolutely wonderful, but can I first live out my faith right where I am? Can I first be faithful where God has placed me right now? Can I demonstrate God's love and share it with those whom I encounter on a daily basis? Can I trust God with all the details of my life, no matter what happens? Until I can do those things, would I really be ready to take my faith anywhere else?
That last question there is certainly open for reader opinions and comments. I'm not sure if there is a definite yes or no answer to my questions. What do you guys think of the matter? Are you living it out here?