So what did we learn in the past 9 months? I’ve tried to keep you up on the week to week happenings, but a true summary of what we learned had to wait until hindsight was on our side. Now, I could tell you all of the nitty gritty things that I leaned like cutting my food budget by $250, or letting go of preferences (like whether or not my food was sprayed with pesticides), or the fact that you don’t have to make an entire meal to fellowship with people, but those are just the ones on the surface. We spent a few hours on our drive to Colorado sorting out all of it. For Payton, these were a few things that stood out among the many things learned during the year:
capacity: Payton increased his discipline in academics through long hours of practice. His reading and writing skills all improved. (We both learned to sit still and pay attention for hours on end!—usually by consuming large amounts of tea and snacks.
speaking in front of people: Payton had opportunities at Warrendale to speak about the Missions emphasis every week, lead a few Sunday Schools, and teach one Sunday evening service. This was one the areas he’d been eager to work on.
what it means to be a part of the great commission: Understanding what it means to be involved in reaching to the ends of the earth, but remembering that it may look different like support work overseas, or extensive involvement state-side, or being the people in the actual work itself, all roles being important.
adding more responsibilities: There were small ministry opportunities at church while in school that he was able to take on. He used to have a lot more personal free time, but instead it was filled with responsibilities—but resulting in a greater capacity!
Here are mine:
value of the body of Christ: God’s really worked on my heart in the past year to see the value of His church and how it’s what He’s using to reach the world. This means that I need to love it and cherish it!
value of the Word we’ve been given: I need to love the Bible and study it well because it’s God’s means of telling me who He is and what He desires for mankind. I enjoyed Leviticus for the first time! The prophets were also a favorite, full of rich imagery and God’s response toward His people’s rejection. The Gospels got cloudier for me, but they were clearer in a sense because I had the prophets to preface them.
people are important!: It’s not the tasks or activities that are worthwhile, but the people that surround me who have eternal value.
what is God doing in the world?: Both of us never realized that God has been so pointedly pursuing mankind since the moment sin entered the world. The awareness of this has sparked quite a few changes in both of our worldviews, especially as we look at Scripture to see the bigger picture.
The thing I noticed as I typed these up was that the underlying emphasis was the same, but the things God worked on were our weak areas. I’m a lot more task-oriented, but I tend to forget to keep the people in focus. Payton tends to be more people-focused, but has to work on being diligent in certain tasks (especially the long reading assignments and writing papers!).