05 June 2006

wOrKiNg 4 GoD...or LiViNg 4 GoD ?!!! lets meditate...

I've noticed too many times lately that people refer to my life in Lisbon as "work"...and I just feel I need to write something about it, coz I feel there's something really wrong there...
well, people have been asking me things like "- so, how's your work doing in Lisbon? ", or when I say I'm gonna leave Lisbon this summer, people say "- And how was the work, was it good?"... What can I say?...one day someone asked me "- so, do you have a lot of staff with you already? ", and I couldn't answer...
What is this all about ?!!! what kind of wording? what kind of mind set ?
It just doesn't fit...at least in my mind...

some people are coming over to Lisbon and tell me "- Hey, I'd like to see your work !!! "
I seriously don't know what to answer...or what to show...
Some want to help in my "ministry", and I can only say "- well, I can show you the bars, where young people hang out, maybe there's a nice party or concert coming, etc..."... I really don't know how to deal with this...
For me is good enough if people come to visit and enjoy the city :-) !!! As many guests I had this year :-)

All this makes me think...Am I working for God, or living for God ?!! I'm definitely LIVING... and I don't see my life as work, or a job...
How do you see yourself ?! Are you working for God, or living for God ?...
I know I don't have a job... I don't have a salary in the end of the month, I just trust God will provide my needs through other people's offerings... so in many people's minds they think "she works for God", so that they will not tend to think "she does nothing"... Hummmm...and I'm speaking also about other christians here , who should see things with other perspective besides the world's...
Well, for me, I live for God and I live in behalf of others...my time, gifts and talents God has been giving me, I try the best way to use them in behalf of others... That's what I "do", I guess... I try to love God and to love others with His help...
it's even hard for me to know when I need to stop and have time for myself, coz I have no schedule, and God is not bossing after me :-)... some days I "work" too much, I even don't eat properly or on time...other days I feel I'm lazy coz I'm not DOING anything specifically, or I'm just resting (most of times is the world's mind set speaking this things)...
Yesterday I was telling I was going to Israel in the summer and a friend told me " What a good life you have!!! " (with a sound of envy )... And that's true, I really love what I do of my life and what I experience, specially coz I love people and I love traveling... many people would love to do a lot of things I do, but they would not be willing to live a lot of things I live as well... like not having enough money for the month and need to wait and trust in God... a lot of people don't like to depend on others as well,and I think that's the main issue for a lot of people... that's the most common thinking nowadays...everyone wants their independence (even christians are seeking this things).... as for me, I've been dependent on God and others all the time...and I really appreciate that coz it's also a way for me to be accountable for what I do with my life... I'm not bosting of myself here, but a lot of people don't think about this part of the story... A lot of travelings are exhausting as well, not having familiar people around for long time is lonely sometimes...And i'm not even mentioning the spiritual part of it, the many struggles, etc...
sometimes I make the mistake of hearing the "world's" voice and what it dictates, and I start to shake and doubt... I start thinking " I really do nothing...what am I doing anyway?!!"... But when I listen to God He says "You are my child and I'm proud of you..." ... That's the Truth I hold on to...And everything I might do will have to come out of that : WHO I AM...
I worked as a gardener last year for 6 months ( my only job in my life I have to confess...before I only sold handicraft on the streets, then I became a follower of Jesus and "worked" with Youth With a Mission) ...being a gardener was a great experience, but after I came from my travels last year God told me He wanted my full time... and I can see why, coz doing a lot of things I do I need to be available all the time... to be with people when they need, to network a lot lately, and that implies traveling, e.mailing, etc...
I also don't agree with the term "working full time for God" (here we go with the "working" word again), coz there's no such thing... we are ALL called to LIVE full time for God...even if you have a paid job, you LIVE for God right there... and God uses you right there...
and if you think during the week you are working for your boss and maybe on weekends you are working for God when you volunteer to DO something "in church" (I'm using here people's terms I don't agree with), you better think about it then...Is that true ?!!!
We, westerners, tend to divide everything... God is in one box, work is in another box, family in another, leisure time another,and of course drinking beer cannot be on the same box as God, so we need to make another one for that... isn't that what happen in our western minds ?!!!

A missionary ?!! well, aren't we all called OUT to GO ?...even if it's next door?!! A lot of people say that all christians are missionaries...but in practice they only "commission" those who go abroad... isn't that a wrong concept of being missional right there?!!! the church need to BE missional, not to DO missions... And if you are the church, then well...
We should be "commissioning" the children when they go to school, all those who go to their works, the house-keepers who live in their neighborhood, the young people when they go out with their friends, etc...shouldn't we ?!!
WE MUST SEE GOD IN ALL THE SPHERES OF OUR LIFE, COZ OUR LIFE IS A WHOLE, AND GOD IS EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME...lets stop making all these boxes...

Maybe this mind set is the same that makes us think about " Doing church", or "going to church", instead of "BEING the church"...
In the gospel of John 15:12-17, Jesus say:
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit and —fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other."

This is everyboby's calling, isn't it ?!!...To Love eachother as Jesus Loved us...and for me that is to live in behalf of others...Knowing that God calls us His friends and He's the one who shows us how to Love, and gives us His Spirit who makes us able to Love...

So, going back to my question in the beginning (sorry this is getting too long, but I'm meditating myself on this now as well), how can I answer something like "How is your work doing in Lisbon? " , when all I do is about relationships? It's about loving others, despite of the way I express that love... sometimes is serving others, and then it's easier to say something that I did, but most of the times it's not visible...
I'm glad I don't have to present "numbers" and facts like many "missionaries" need for their organizations or supporters, coz I wouldn't know what to "report"... I had to do something the other day that was a bit funny if I consider everything I'm writing now... I had to write a plan of my "ministry" for 2007...this is because somehow I 'm part of the Mission department of the Evangelical Alliance, representing the "Emerging generation and Urban Tribes" (whatever!!!), and we have to present this to Dawn Ministries who are supporting us...but worst than that was that I had to present a budget for it :-) ... I couldn't really... I had to tell them I cannot really separate my life from my "ministry", so I presented my basic needs to live and do some things I do ( I basically present them my estimate phone and internet bill, plus traveling expenses)... how can I know when a phone call is part of my "ministry" or not if my "ministry" is my life ? what about if I take a train to go to the beach?! Maybe if I speak with someone in the train or at the beach is considered "work", if not is just personal leisure...it's even sick to think this way... I hate the way a lot of christians see people as projects or goals of their "minitries"...I could never think about my friends or any other people I meet as part of my "work"...And should I include my food expenses, coz unless I'm fasting I do need to eat to keep going... I'll have no house next year, so I don't need to pay rent :-), that helps... and thank God I never got sick and need a doctor... only on the dentist I have to spend some money...
I understood their part, but I guess I was not of much help for them :-) oh well, sorry guys... maybe this is part of the "emerging mind set" that we all need to get use to... or is just me :-) not so good on thinking that way :-)

O.k, I would appreciate your thoughts on this... if you handle to read it al :-)

6 comments:

Jessee said...

hey baba...
hmmm...i definately agree. i agree completely that our mindset is so wrong concerning "working" for God...
and "going to church"
so so so true that we are to LIVE our ENTIRE LIFE for God. it is a 24 7 thing. non stop!
maybe rather than sharing how "work is going"
we need to share what God is doing. how we see him impacting the lives of those around us. how we see him teaching us...how he has begun to heal this person or that person's broken life. you know what i mean though.
You are a real example in a lot of ways to me of how to live for God...not work for him.
thank you.
see you in three days!
jesse

Heather said...

Wow, I'm not sure how many times I have had this rant or heard it, and every time I'm in total agreement. It actually open my eyes to my own God living situation. We seek support from in various places from various people, and sometimes I found myself trying to 'speak their language' when it comes to what it is actually called what I am doing. Its kind of funny because with the relationships I have already developed, I just throw parties and gatherings......."yeah we just hang out and have conversations"

We now are going through our first year where we are just totally clueless where money is going to come from and with three kids and a husband that can get intense, but also exciting, because you have a surprise ever waiting for you. To breathe in His loyalty and promises is just fabulous.

We got out of the boxed church a year or so ago, and man its awesome to allow your faith to go where God sends it. Also to just be who God made you and not what others feel you should be is a sense of freedom I pray everyone will experience.

You have prayers coming your way girl, keep dancing in His love.

Baba said...

HI heather...could you send me again your e.mail and blog please...I can't find it :-/
if you prefer e.mail me to barbleite@gmx.net

Thanks for your words :-)

hajoundrebecca said...

Hey... You just did a good job expressing those feelings. I have ups and downs while travelling because its surely becoming more and more a lifestyle to be on the road with the Lord.
And I can't at all produce something on the way. I am here and seeking God in all, thats basically all I have to offer as "ministry". If my way crosses that of others I feel blessed rather than successsfull...

Love you there. Rebecca***

frede said...

thank you for sharing the trouth.
i love it and i m really looking forward to spend this winter together with you.

steve said...

boxes bad

jesus good