A friend recently gave me the book ‘Love Does,’ by Bob Goff. The book is filled with stories from Bob’s life, his fantastical adventures of living to love people and lessons he’s learned about God. It’s cute and engaging.
One chapter that stands out is subtitled I used to think I needed to sacrifice for God, but now I know faith is like a game of Bigger and Better. He talks about playing Bigger and Better, where you start walking around your neighborhood with something small, like a dime, and keep trading it for something, well, bigger and better.
Mr. Goff likens this to our relationship with God. We ‘trade’ something that maybe we think is pretty cool for something that God offers. Something much better. This idea resonates with me.
My last trip home I heard a lecture given to new missionaries going out on the field. The speaker talked about the sacrifices they were making, the noble calling and depravity they would experience. It rubbed me wrong. I left thinking, ‘gee, being in the mission field isn’t THAT horrible!’
Being far from my family is painful. Friends come and go with the seasons, and I’ve become neurotic about stability vs. change. I miss chocolate, cheese, seasons that change, technology, sweet smelling streets, and I could go on. I could view this depravity as ‘sacrifice,’ and don’t get me wrong, my friends and I do sit around talking about cheese. Frequently. But what I’ve traded that for is so much more. I get the deep, deep satisfaction of doing work that is meaningful and, more importantly, the right calling for me, personally.
Now, don’t hold me to this in a month when I’m protein deprived and 10 pounds lighter from a solid diet of rice and veggies, but if I felt like I was giving up everything for God’s work, like my life was such a struggle of benevolent self-deprivation, than this would not be the right place, the right work for me. I get to ‘trade up’, as Mr. Goff would say, the things of this world that I can easily live without, replacing them with ‘satisfaction, confidence, and reaffirmation’ in doing the job that God made perfectly for me.