So on my recent trip to Australia on break with dear friends from home, we drove along the coast with breathtaking views around every curve (see video clip) and my friend who was driving on the left-hand side of the road/right-hand side of the car, told a funny story about how when you’re the driver, you have “just one job!”- to keep us alive. And she’d have to remind herself of that as we’d come upon these beautiful views and she’d want to stare at the waves, the mountains and the sun peeking through the clouds. Or another time as kangaroos were hopping along the road (this happens in Australia), “just one job!” we’d say.
At the time, I thought it was hilarious. I’m not the world’s best driver, so I know some of you have ridden with me before when it’s gotten really slow, because I can’t listen to you and drive at the same time. I’m not very good at making driving my “just one job.”
But later when I was back at the center, the thought came back to my mind– “Just one job.” I’m reading a book about missions and building healthy churches–did you know that missions is the “just one job” of the Church? The Church as a whole–not just the pastor or not just the one crazy guy who’s been living in some place you’ve never heard of before for 20 years and you see every 4. It’s the job of the WHOLE CHURCH. Christ left his disciples saying “Go make disciples of all nations.” His last instruction, given as a command, but also scattered throughout the rest of the Old and New testaments as a Biblical Mandate. (If you want to learn more about this, try out Perspectives or read Discovering Global Missions).
But this struck home even more deeply to me as my co-workers and I were praying for our beloved supervisor here in ICT (IT with Communications stuck in there). We were choking back tears–all of us, not just me for once—because he and his beautiful family have decided to serve somewhere else where the Gospel needs to be made known. After we all prayed for him, he prayed about being able to stay focused on the “just one thing,” as Paul did, Jesus Christ and his glory. In his prayer he didn’t focus on the hindrances or the possible struggles. He didn’t pray for his extremely social and friendly family moving to a place where they won’t be able to communicate with anyone, because no one speaks English. They can’t take any of their stuff from here because the excess baggage fees are outrageous. He didn’t pray about being able to find the stuff that they’ll need. Of course they’re not going for any pay raise, but he didn’t ask for God’s provision. He asked the Lord for strength to focus on the “just one thing” that was of utmost importance. He declared the worthiness of Christ, over and over. Lord help us all throw off anything that hinders and find you as our “just one thing” Phil. 3:12-14
I so often focus on the coast and the sunshine and the beauty of the mountains or the people I love – all the blessings of what I have been given. Those aren’t bad things, unless they take away from the “just one job” I have. Please join me in praying for the Arterberry family as they keep their focus on Christ and pray that I (and possibly you too) can live in the same way, remembering that our God is the one who knows our needs and provides good gifts to His children.