Day 5 of the “Slice of Life” Writing Challenge
I just want to lose “me”.
I’m leading a mission team to Mexico this summer. Over the past few weeks, people have begun to submit their names, expressing a desire to be chosen for the team. During that time, I’ve also started tapping some shoulders, and planting the idea with people that I’d like to have along. Some of the folks I’m asking, have never been on a mission trip before. Others that I’m reaching out to, have been down this road.
The newcomers have many questions. What to expect? What is the cost? How is the food? They want to be sold on the reasons to participate. Some of the teens are excited about the opportunity to travel. To get away from home. To go on an adventure.
The truth is, this adventure, is no vacation. It’s no picnic, either.
But it is a feast for your soul.
When your chosen to go on a mission trip, you have to go with the mindset of being used up. Leaving it all on the field. Pouring out every ounce of your being, and hopefully, losing yourself in the process. You’re voluntarily choosing to lay down your ego, your energy, your talents, and your love; in order to lift up others. To go all-out, as you put yourself all-in.
To get lost in the adventure of dying to yourself, and in the process, seeing a better version of “you” emerge.
As we prepare for our adventure, we work to forge a team. We learn about our talents, passions, and strengths, and how we might best use these to be a blessing to the people we are going to serve. We also delve into our fears. Because to have a real adventure, we have to be authentic.
One of my greatest fears in the past was not being “present” while on the journey. I was worried that in the midst of being in a different culture, exposed to a different pattern and rhythm of worship than I am accustomed to, I would miss out on whatever lesson I was meant receive. Sharing this with my counterparts insured they had my back, and allowed me to be more open to the experience. Other friends confessed to fears such as public speaking, language miscommunications, or health and safety concerns.
Fears are all part and parcel of an adventure. Facing them, and embracing them.
Why do it? Why ask to be chosen to give up a week of your life, and travel to a third-world area? Why ask for the opportunity to go to a place where the water is rationed; the sleep is short; and the food is more about necessity than choice? Why submit your name in the hopes you’re selected to go for a week of using odiferous outhouses; working back-breaking chores; under a baking-hot sky? Why sign up to leave the comforts of home, family, and friends; to work alongside a group of people that you barely know?
Because there is something transformational about the application of faith.
There is something magical about setting priorities aside, to intentionally serve others.
There is something spiritual about voluntarily laying down my ego, agenda, and fears; to spend myself in a worthy cause.
I’m on the adventure of losing “me“.