The other night I witnessed something pretty spectacular and the one thing that kept repeating in my head was, “I am so spoiled.”
I couldn’t get this idea out of my head. I searched for other words to describe what was happening, but I just kept coming back to how spoiled I am.
How was I spoiled?
I was spoiled for the ordinary.
The Big Adventure
Working with Youth With A Mission has made me completely spoiled. I live a life on the edge and smack dab in the middle of the Big Adventure. The one God calls each of us to join.
I grew up in missions and am only now realising some of the amazing things I count as “normal” are the “exception” to many Christians.
On a daily basis, I’m surrounded by people from several cultures and nations. My ears take in at least a dozen accents a day.
I am a full-time volunteer and have been for over ten years. Yet I lack nothing.
About a year ago, I was struggling financially. I thought I was the biggest jerk reaching out to friends and family, asking for help. I felt weak and needy and I hated it.
So I took my complaint to God. I told him how hard life felt. Once I’d finished pouring out my heart, he reminded me of a story from the Bible where the Israelites are wandering in the desert.
The nation of Israel spent over fifty years living like nomads.
Their only source for direction was God and he showed up in a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. Any time the cloud moved, it was a sign for the nation to pack up and move on.
I can only imagine how this would make it incredibly difficult to plant crops or have a routine trade route.
Yet, they never had need, because God rained down manna (it was like a coriander seed and tasted like honey on wafers. Exodus 16:31)
If he can take care of an entire nomadic nation then how much more can he provide for my needs?!
Living this kind of life forces me to trust God with my daily needs. I live like those nomads, never knowing when God will call me to move or stay. Never knowing where my “manna” may show up, but knowing it will.
The short time I’ve spent working a nine to five job, I felt so dissatisfied with life. I hated the monotony of the work. Looking back I’ve realised it wasn’t just the monotony that got me down, I had lost my sensitivity to God’s voice.
I became my own provider, instead of relying on God to provide for me.
I have the utmost respect for Christians who can do the nine to five and still walk in close relationship with God. It is its own kind of challenge.
But I’ve been spoiled to grow up in a life of risk and adventure.
A Glimpse of Eternity
Which leads me to the other night. Youth With a Mission Brisbane (YWAM) - where I volunteer as a missionary - has a monthly night of worship.
This event, Open Worship, is called such because it is open to the local community. Many church youth groups attend, as well as many living in the area.
It’s a time set aside to honour God through song. It’s always a good time, but the night in question was extra special.
What made it extra special was when it ended.
Officially Open Worship runs from 7 PM to 8:30 PM, followed by a time of fellowship in our cafe.
But instead of going to hang out, the majority of the youth gathered stayed to keep singing and dancing.
I sat off to the side and just watched. It was beautiful. All these young people, from all over the world, who had the choice to go and enjoy truffles and coffee, wanted to keep honouring God instead.
And the joy and love shone in their faces.
Then one of the guys leading worship, started shouting out different nations and the youth from that nation would take centre stage and start dancing. While the rest of the room watched and then joined in on that dance.
There was freedom to be foolish.
No one cared what anyone else thought of their dancing technique. Instead, everyone embraced it. They were crazy in love with God and they wanted to do anything and everything to show it.
I had a smile plastered on my face to see it. And tears of the purest joy flowed out of me.
What an incredible thing to witness. A new generation more eager to please God than to please themselves or man.
In that moment, I felt God tell me “This is only a glimpse of what eternity will be like.”
Imagine it. Being in a room filled to overflowing with the best party songs playing. Where there’s no fear, no sadness. Where people of all cultures and backgrounds can express themselves and represent their nations.
Where there’s a culture of acceptance and unconditional love.
Whether you live a life of nine to five or you’re living the life of a missionary. I want to encourage you to find the Big Adventure God has for you.
It may mean you stay in the nine to five, but choosing the Big Adventure will allow you to be spoiled for the ordinary too.
Charis Joy Jackson works as a full-time missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) a non-profit organisation in Queensland. During the day she mentors young adults, teaches on several topics including worship, intercession and how to makes movies. In her spare time she spins stories of speculative fiction and captures her crazy dreams in print. Her debut novel, The Rose of Admirias, is available for pre-order now on www.charisjoyjackson.com
Charis Joy Jackson’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/charis-jackson.html
Charis Joy Jackson works as a full-time missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) a non-profit organisation in Queensland. During the day she mentors young adults, teaches on several topics including worship, intercession and how to makes movies. In her spare time she spins stories of speculative fiction and captures her crazy dreams in print. Her debut novel, The Rose of Admirias, will soon be available for pre-order on https://www.charisjoyjackson.com/story.html
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