Thursday, November 11, 2010

Being a Realist

Tonight I was in a service at a large fellowship meeting. There were many missionary families present, as well as many pastors and laymen. I went alone because my daughter was sick, and my wife needed to be with her. I slipped in a few minutes before the service started, greeted some familiar, friendly faces that I have met on the deputation trail, and took my seat. The choir sang wonderfully; the congregational singing was lively; the preaching was great. Yet, I felt unsettled in my heart.

Normally, I would love this setting. But tonight, I kept thinking thoughts along these lines: "Here we are, all wearing our happy faces, enjoying the magnificent choir, listening to a well-known preacher- but this isn't reality. Reality is being in Cambodia where people aren't patting you on the back. Reality is being discouraged because you have been soul winning for weeks, and have little to show for it. Reality is being in a country where they have no concept of camp meetings, revival meetings, fellowship meetings, or big-name preachers. Reality is smelling the stench of an open sewer as you walk to the market. Reality is the brothel across the street from the church."

Now, I'm just being transparent. And don't misunderstand me. I'm not against fellowship meetings. They definitely have their purpose, and I appreciate them. I'm just against thinking that fellowship meetings are the pinnacle of the Christian experience. I'm against the mentality that says, "Man! Here we are at this big meeting! This is what it's all about!" I appreciate the fellowship at these kind of meetings; but the hyped-up fellowship meetings are not "what it's all about."

Then, this thought hit me. "For me, reality needs to be serving the Lord with a heart of sincerity and full of joy, even if no man ever recognizes me."

1 comment:

  1. I understand what you mean. You will have that "unsettled" feeling a lot more in the coming years. Once you witness and experience certain things, your thought process is forever changed. When I am on furlough, I can never sit in an exciting church service, go to a department store, or enjoy a holiday with my family without thinking about Cambodia.

    Obviously your heart is here, brother. That's a good thing.