I've been on many mission trips over the years, but this trip to Honduras was my first medical trip. In that aspect it wasn't your "typical" mission trip. Here we were serving Christ by "merely" serving the people. There was no preaching, tracts, etc., yet it was awesome to just give to people as Christ did--expecting nothing in return. It was the true example of St. Francis of Assisi --"Preach the gospel. And if necessary, use words." Of course we did pray for many patients, but the true power was in loving and giving to people unconditionally. This was truly the lesson I learned--starting on the actual trip to Honduras.We flew from Baton Rouge to Houston and then to Honduras. In Houston, there was a problem with the "navigation" system of our plane. They held us on the plane for 2 hours until they replaced this system. During this delay, I sat on the plane (quite restless if you know me) pondering a few things. First -- I thought--"There is nothing wrong with the plane-- it would still fly if taken off. BUT--the question is--Where would it end up?" Over the course of the trip, I realized more and more how this concept applies to my life. I will "fly" but where will I end up? Does my navigation system need to be changed? What truly guides, rules, directs my life, my attitudes, my direction?
navi·ga·tion (noun) the science of locating the position
and plotting the course of ships and aircraft
In Honduras (or on any mission trip)--we serve joyfully not expecting anything in return. We sacrifice to pay for the trip, sacrifice 3rd world country conditions, sacrifice other comforts, etc. BUT -- when we come back home--what is "plotting our course"? Is it the mind (navigational system) of Christ--or is it our selfish ways? The plane would have flown even if they didn't change this system. The engine was working fine. The only aspect that would have been affected--was the direction in which it would go.
We are no different. We will live, work, surround ourselves with people--but is it purposeful? I want to live purposefully, but so often I find myself guided/ruled by circumstances rather than having my course "plotted" out purposefully.Philippians 2 is an awesome passage. It is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, and I believe it perfectly "locates" where Christ is and perfectly "plots the course" where we should be.
Be of the same mind, same love, united in purpose (with Christ)
Do nothing from selfishness
with humility regard others as more important than yourself
look out for the interests of others --not just your own
do all things without complaining
Since I have returned--I have made efforts to love the people in my home, my family, and at work as I loved and served the Honduran people. I'm working at changing my perspective--to live as though every day is a mission trip!