I am breaking down the lyrics of “Mexico,” by James Taylor. You can hear JT sing it on the previous post. The words have been running through my head a while now, thinking about our trip with the EDGE kiddos, which is now in 9 DAYS!
SINCE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE MISSION TRIP::
There is a lot of discussion right now on the blogosphere about the merits of short-term missions. I totally understand the arguments against short-term missions: That they only frustrate those in country, spending their resource to “entertain” the tourist/”missionaries.” The zoosafari mentality of picture-taking idiots who are more interested in taking pictures of something “weird or unusual” in someone’s home, village, or on their person than in getting to know the people as just that. That the mindset of missionaries is somewhat colonial in character: let us bring you what you need to live life as we define it, with better, stronger more civilized lives: you know, Madison Avenue and air conditioning. Or that the American gospel, based on our national favor with God, is really something anyone would or should want. I get all that. I’ve been reading the arguments all week in blogs of persons much more knowledgeable than I am about the subject. And though, I, like most of the authors of the articles and the commenters do see a valuable place for short term missionary/partnering trips, I don’t want to ignore the arguments that are valid.
I think, as do our team leaders, that this trip is mainly about showing us a bigger world, a bigger Kingdom than our own. We are going primarily to share with our brothers and sisters and God’s children His love for us all. We are not going to save them, but to fellowship and encourage and partner with one another.
I imagine we will be the ones saved from much deception.
Way down here, you need a reason to move…
Just some thoughts…ramblings really…in regard to the high life of American civilization.
I was driving in my car yesterday at 5:00 p.m. Well, actually I was sitting in my car at 5:00 p.m. I was thinking that it was about 100 degrees F and that I was sitting in a metal box, out in the full sun, trying to go four tenths of a mile to get some popsicles, which would likely melt before I got home. Of course, I, if not my frozen friends, theoretically had air conditioning…except for some reason, mine decided to not work. So, I sat in a hot metal box, in full sun.
I looked over to the side of the road at trees, shade. I bet it wasn’t 100 degrees in the shade. I bet if I had walked through the woods to the store, I would have gotten there more speedily, at 5:00p.m. But, I’ve gotten pretty used to going where I am going, when I like, comfortably, against the counsel and design of nature, even if I have to employ copious amounts of resource to do so.
It just all seemed so ridiculous, as I sat in that metal box, in the full sun. stopped, in traffic. with popsicles melting. And I wondered a few thoughts about just how smart and civilized we are.
Yes, we move at will. But, what does it cost us to be so POWERful? To triumph in comfort at every hour, every day. Over nature, it seems…until we don’t.
Secretly, deep down, we must know, we have no real victory over it, not when it shows its true muscle, true resolve. So why do we fight it so? Why not work with it? Gain its favor and harness its strength. So I wondered, nearly delirious from the heat, if civilization was starting over, how would we work with, not against or seeking to triumph over the natural ordering of things? And when we needed to move under our own power, faster than our legs could carry us, and other than where the wind was blowing or the river flowing, wouldn’t we need a reason better than a popsicle, to do so?