This month, I turn 25. Out of all other birthdays, I feel this one is pretty significant, and apparently so does science, which has just confirmed adulthood begins at 25. Just 10 years ago, I was a bright-eyed high school freshman. A freshman who only wanted to travel the globe, be a missionary and change the world. It took me almost 10 more years to realize I don't have to travel the globe to be a missionary, and I cannot – no matter how hard I try – change the whole world.
Now this post isn't bashing those who are traveling, living and serving in other countries – I wholeheartedly spiritually and financially support others who are doing just that, but I discovered my "mission field" wasn't the whole world, but my world. I have learned how to change my world: love.
Lately, my time in the Word has been spent in Paul's letters. Love is the common thread. In Philippians, Paul so eloquently writes his prayer for the Church: "And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more…" (Philippians 1:9).
Now I hope you caught that...Paul's prayer for the church, for his fellow believers. In my opinion, one of the best examples of a believer who loved others well was Corrie ten Boom.
"Do you know what hurts so very much? It's love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting, but then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel." - Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place
As Corrie ten Boom so amazingly pointed out, love is tough. Love can be burdensome. But love is also rewarding, and love is life-changing. Love is something to be celebrated and practiced. Christ has called us to a narrow path, which isn't always easy to follow. Sometimes, I don't feel like loving my family, much less my neighbor, but we, as Christians, have been called to a higher standard.
So, what does my world look like? My world looks like being a new wife and making a happy home with my husband. My world looks like joyfully and creatively maintaining the websites for Texas Baptists. My world looks like going to work, five days a week, in a building full of believers and loving each and every one of them.
I have learned that God sometimes places us in unusual mission fields. See, I won't love perfectly because He's still sanctifying me, but if I can learn to love my brothers and sisters well, then maybe I can change the whole world.
What Paul was saying, is if we, as believers, learn how to serve and how to love each other well, that's when we can really make a difference. When unbelievers see the amazing, strong and unbreakable bond of love, who wouldn't want to be a part of that?