Into the Wild Unknown, Wide Eyed with Wonder

No matter what decisions you make in life, one day you’re going to die. When that happens your story will be ended. The last page will have been written and the cover will be closed. Will that story have anything of value in it? If someone picked your biography up and read through it, what would they think of you? Or, even more sobering yet, would the Publisher who gave you the assignment be happy with the story that you wrote?

We’re so scared of failure that we embrace mediocrity and in doing so waste an incredible opportunity to show the world what God can do through people who see God’s vision for the world. Failure, in the hands of a talented author, is only the beginning of a great story so we should not fear failure; rather we should fear mediocrity because makes a story meaningless.

One day several years ago I had the realization that while I said that I believed in a supernatural, omniscient, all powerful God my life said otherwise. I was scared, doubtful, and refused to take any risk on God’s behalf. Actions speak louder than words and my life clearly displayed a lack of faith in the attributes I said I believed in. While I said I believed in God, I clearly did not.

I repented. I threw myself in front of God and begged him to show me His power. I asked Him to show me what He had saved me from. He answered my prayer but not in the way I expected. I spent the next few years in various addictions unable to free myself. I implored God to deliver me from my carnal nature and tried, again and again, to dig myself out of a pit I had fallen into.

Then one day He stepped into my life and lifted the burden of addiction off of my shoulders. I was just walking down a hallway when suddenly I felt different, like my eyes were suddenly opened. The sin lost it’s luster. I’ll spare you the details but since that day the addictions that were formerly irresistible hold no power over me. Oh sure, temptations still arise but the chains of addiction were broken just like that because God stepped in and changed me. That day God answered the request I had made several years earlier. That day I realized that God saved me. I realized I didn’t deserve it. I realized that I didn’t earn it. I realized that God had a purpose for my life and it’s changed everything. God is no longer a foreign, mystical being but one who is actually speaking directly to me, explicitly interested in the content of the story I’m writing.

The brilliance of God taking sinners and turning their lives around is that it makes a very compelling story. The best stories are not ones where the hero makes all the right choices, faces no hardships, and easily fulfills his calling. That story sucks! The best stories are about broken, ordinary people who make hard choices, who turn their lives around, who fight for something bigger than themselves. In the face of all odds, they overcome the impossible and do heroic things. We love reading stories like that. We wish we could be heroes. We wish we had a specific destiny in which we could thrive. We’re jealous of the outcome. Yet we fail to see that our stories could be written the same way. The weaknesses that we love in our heroes are the very things that we use as excuses as to why we can’t be heroes. We try our hardest to avoid being in situations that make heroes necessary. In this way we stay comfortable. Being comfortable does not make a good story.

Of course, you can only stay comfortable if you do not realize that you are needed. There is a hero’s calling on your life but you may not realize it. Do you realize six hundred million people do not have the scriptures in their language? Over three billion people groups have few, if any, identifying Christians and no Christian history. The world is literally churning out millions of stories with no happy ending; books with page after page of anguish, suffering, soul searching, and yet end in hopeless nothingness; stories which will rent your heart, grieve your soul, yet give no fulfillment or meaning in the end. Do you realize you have the plot twist that can turn these books into powerful, explosive stories of hope, beauty, and purpose?

That’s why my family and I are pursuing an apprenticeship at MMS Aviation where we’ll receive the training I’ll need to be a lifelong missionary aircraft mechanic and pilot. We want to help deliver the Good News of the Gospel of the Jesus Christ to the world; especially the far flung, remote regions previously unreachable. We feel compelled to help forgotten tribes realize the meaning and beauty in their stories, from the headhunters on jungle covered islands in Indonesia to the Inuit tribes in Alaska; wherever God directs us that’s where we want to go. We don’t expect to return from the mission field anytime soon, if ever.

We realize that God is writing our story and nothing excites us more than being along for the ride. We are diving headlong into the wild unknown, our eyes wide with wonder at the amazing things He has done and will do. We know that, like any good story, ours will be full of joy, hope, tragedy, triumph, hurt, healing, love, and unexpected twists and turns but we trust that out of it all, God is writing an incredible story that’s many times more amazing than we could ever write ourselves.