Pastor John's JourneysJennifer and I attended the 2nd in a series of planning meetings for our May mission trip to Gulfport, Mississippi. There are 30 people going on the trip all from San Diego County United Methodist Churches. It was exciting to hear the stories of those who had gone before, and the anxious excitement of those preparing for their first ever mission trip. Multiple day mission trips are a special sacred time. I have been going on mission trips since the mid 80s. They are the single most powerful and sacred times I have ever spent. I see that same transformation of spirit in those around me, and in those who have gone before. There is something about dedicating a significant amount of time solely to God's work, and to the sharing of God's love in real and practical ways.
I often talk about being so filled with God's love, that it overflows from us and into the world around us, and of being so full that we cannot help but to share it. The service experiences of my life have been these times that I have experienced this overflowing love most profoundly. "Acts of Kindness" and following the "3 Simple Rules" give us a taste of that overflowing love. The more time you dedicate to service to others in God's name, the more you experience the joy, excitement, and transformation of Christ's spirit. The questions and doubts fade away. They are replaced instead with assurance, strength, love, and hope.
I know that many of you think your too old to be of service to anyone. There is a reality as we loose our independence that we loose our ability to directly service God. But this reality isn't so real. The truth is that as long as we have breath, worship the Lord, and share God's love in real and practical ways; even in the smallest kindness we are being of service. You may not be able to go on a weeklong trip to Mississippi, but you can support those who can with prayers and support. More importantly you can focus on the small tasks, the small kindnesses that are just as important, and when proper focus is given to them, they can be just as transforming, assuring, and joyous as the longest mission trip. Be of service. Share God's love in real and practical ways. Allow God's love to fill your heart and overflow out into the world around you.