2 Timothy 4:6-8 – As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (NRSV)
As I was preparing to go on a mission trip to Honduras, I commented to my wife about how much it meant to me to go, because, for at least one week this year, I would be living the kind of life that Christ expected of me — a life involving some degree of personal sacrifice, ministering in His name to others, as He had commanded us to do. In her typical, quiet way, she reminded me that not all of us are called or are able to go on mission trips, and to experience the fulfillment that comes from this type of service. However, it is just as important, and often much harder, to live a Christian life as we go about the routines of our daily life.
Proverbs 19:14b – But a prudent wife is a gift from the Lord (NRSV)
She was right. In many ways, it is easy to be Christian when given the opportunity for the grand gesture. The real challenge comes in responding to our mundane, everyday life — the life we tend to live on automatic pilot, not considering how our actions are seen by others. My mission trip will last one week. The other 51 weeks of the year will be spent, by and large, going to work, puttering around the house, shopping, and doing the 101 other ordinary chores of daily life. As Paul reminds us, being a Christian is a long-term, lifetime calling. It is during those 51 weeks, year in and year out, that those who know us will see us and will decide, by our actions, whether or not we are truly following Christ.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, help us to understand that our faith calls us to a lifetime of service. Enable us to let Your Spirit guide us in all our actions, both great and small, so that, by all our actions, people may know that we are truly Your disciples. Amen.