superficial change?

I think I’ve been having some difficulty here as a missionary because I have the wrong idea of what I’m supposed to be doing. I have this idea that my time here, training as a missionary, is supposed to somehow be fundamentally different from when I was a student at MSU serving as a Christian student group leader. It’s not. Yes I am supposed to have a new focus on learning and character development, but only because I didn’t realize that’s what I needed before. And I need to be doing outreach, but it doesn’t need to be something radically different then what I was doing, or should have been doing at MSU.

Though after a talk from Justin, fitting my already evaluational mood, I’m asking the question “what should I be doing?” I’ve often realized that part of the reason I have trouble witnessing is because the social skills it takes I already struggle with even in the day to day activities. I’ve always looked at this as a need to grow in my socials skills, which hasn’t really happened (partly because I often look at it in an unrealistic way). Now I’m looking at it as perhaps I should start looking at things that work for me, rather than trying to be like others. It may still require stepping out of my comfort zone, but doing so in a Rob like fashion.

What I am doing seems to be setting the bar, not too high, but on a different plane, in a different room than I am. I can’t really see it from where I’m at, nor reach it because I’m setting it in a place that is not me, or possibly even what I’m meant to be. I need to be more social, but I have this idea that I need to make conversation happen with random people I have no pretense for talking with. When the Holy Spirit impressed Phillip to talk to the Ethiopian it was not without reason, but becasue he was searching. So why do I think I need to just start talking to any stranger without seeing a reason, or being impressed, expecting a reason by faith? With such an unrealistic starting point for outreach I’ll probably never start. So why not go somewhere it’s easy for me to be social? Find a social group that I can connect with, and pray for boldness to talk also of spiritual things? If I actually have the opporunity to be social, I’m much more likely to try grow socially, and to do outreach. Jesus takes us where we are at, and will lead us to where we need to be.


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November 2008
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