God is a funny one, always speaking truth into our lives just when we need it. Two weekends ago my Dad came to visit, and of course, one of the first things he asked was if we were going to go to “that church with all those young people.” Last year we had taken him to the college saturated 5 o’clock service at Bethany Community Church, and my Dad was overwhelmed to the point of tears by the crowds of passionate, young Christians, meaningful prayer and worship, and a pastor that taught well. He remarked that the Holy Spirit was working in that place. “Of course” I replied. This time we would go to the 11:15 service, as it better accommodated our plans for that day. Of all things to speak on, it had to be Jeremiah 29:4-15: Living Faithfully in Babylon. Pastor Richard remarked at least three different times that even if you’re only in Seattle for “a month,” we should get involved faithfully in our community. I laughed out loud every time and pointed at Tyler. In exactly one month we would be moving.
But, it would also be about one month between leaving Seattle, and leaving for Buenos Aires. One month split between family and friends in Salem and Portland, road-tripping in California, camping in Yosemite, and a wedding in Lake Tahoe. One month of taking time to enjoy what we know, to spend meaningful time with those we love, and prepare – mentally, physically, and spiritually, for our trip. Sure, to some people we might just be “selfishly travelling aimlessly” or just doing a semester abroad; we probably won’t get the backing of a missions committee or church, but we look at this trip in very much the same light as a mission trip. After all, isn’t it on those trips that we go to escape our comfort zone and refine our relationship with the Lord? Is this really that different? That being said, we have a total of two months to live faithfully before we go – to stay involved until the very end. We have time to be fully present with our friends, our family, and strangers; a strange amount of transient time to impact the lives of others. Continuing, we have a number of months to hold true to this principle once we leave. We may not know how long we’ll be in once place (sounds like Babylon, doesn’t it?), or even where that place will be (like Abraham and the promised land), beyond “phase one” in Buenos Aires, but we are still called to get involved and bless others in whatever way we can, day by day, moment by moment. Let’s pray together that God gives us the strength and presence of mind to be able to live up to His calling.