SHEILA WALSH — “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus — the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” Acts 20:24 (NLT)
I can hardly believe that in just 30 days our son Christian will graduate from high school. I remember his first day of kindergarten as if it were a couple of years ago. But now he is six feet tall, his baby shoes have been replaced by what look like canoes and he’s excited to be heading off to Texas A&M in the fall.
His senior year had been flying past so quickly that I began to look for creative ways to slow it down a little. … Perhaps I could even highjack him from school for a couple of weeks?
I had been invited to speak at Colour Conference in Sydney Australia in March of this year. Colour (Australian spelling) is an amazing conference for women from Hillsong Church, hosted by lead pastor Bobbie Houston. I’d spoken at Colour in London and Kiev before but this would be my first trip to the genesis of this movement in Sydney.
The conference has so many attendees that they have to repeat it over two weekends so I knew I’d be in Australia for two weeks. It seemed like the perfect place to make some wonderful memories with my son, if I could just get everyone involved to sign off on the idea. My husband Barry was very supportive and excited for Christian and me to have this time together. His teachers amazed me also. They all gave us their blessing. So, on March 9th Christian and I boarded our 17-hour direct flight from Dallas TX to Sydney Australia.
I could share so many memories of what was one of the best experiences of my life — a mother’s dream come true. But as great as that was, what happened next eclipsed everything else.
The two people who led the conference challenged me to go to the next level. Bobbie and her husband, pastor Brian Houston, are two of the most remarkable leaders I have ever met. They pour their lives into others, mentoring and encouraging them. The worship that comes from their house is legendary and yet they remain two of the most humble and gracious servants of Christ I’ve ever known. We were graciously received and inspired, as I expected.
But as we spent time with them, it became obvious that they were living their entire lives on a mission, even as I had been on a mission to make this trip with my son. The difference is they are on it 24/7, 52 weeks of the year. Watching them has made a subtle shift in the trajectory of my life.
It doesn’t work well if we compartmentalize our lives, though it is so easy to do. If we separate out the parts, as wonderful as they are, things like being a husband or a wife, loving and caring for our children, going to church, leading a Bible study, trying to work hard, or whatever else, it is still less than what we saw there. The simple difference that I learned from Brian and Bobbie is that if I am on mission as a servant of Christ then it is constant.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re standing in line at the grocery store or on stage, the mission is the same. Whether you’re in car pool or teaching your third grade class, the mission is the same.
I believe if we begin to see our lives like this it will radically impact our world. Seeing this has given my life a renewed intensity to be the hands and heart of Jesus to a broken world. So now I pray each day, “Lord give me eyes to see what humanly I would miss. Give me ears to hear what people struggle to find words for.”
Paul described our mission as the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
These are exciting days to be alive. God is calling out a ragtag army of those who are sold out to Him and to His cause.
So, my question is, where will your mission take you today?