On a recent Sunday three of our teens shared about their summer overseas adventures. One served as a student ambassador in Spain, France and Italy; another worked with missionaries in Poland to up-fit an old building as a homeless shelter; the third served in the jungles of Ecuador among the indigenous people there.
Back home, however, they found it hard to maintain that connection with Jesus. This seems to be a common experience for short term missionaries.
I wonder why that is. Maybe we are just too distracted in our normal lives. We have so much clamoring for our attention, that we lose sight of God in the fray. The natural overtakes the supernatural.
Or maybe we pay better attention when we are out of our normal routine. We don't know what to expect, so we count on God to take care of us. We are constantly praying and looking for him to answer. At home, we get complacent and imagine that we can handle life without troubling God for his help.
Now the question is: Which way would we rather live? Lots of people, I imagine, would rather live in touch with the supernatural.
So the next question is: Are we willing to rework our lives so that we pay more attention to God? We would need to set aside our distractions (oh, let me check my email real quick...). We might need to be less entertained and risk (dare I say it?) boredom. In the quietness, God speaks.
We may need to vary the normal routine. We could volunteer at the school, at the hospital, or homeless shelter. We could take on projects that will fail unless God shows up. We could embrace opportunities to get out of our comfort zones.
I know it is worth it.