So often peope wonder how we can "do it." You know, live without the comforts of home...or so far from family and friends. I mean, I haven't been to Starbucks since December of 2011. (Yes, there is one only an hour away.) And I haven't seen our friends and family from Idaho in a year and 2 days, but who's really counting?
We're missing the beautiful fall colors this year. And we'll miss the snow this winter. We'll miss weddings and funerals...and birthdays and just plain ol' days where we hang out with loved ones.
But today the sacrifice that's on my mind isn't the kind that only missionaries "suffer." Christ calls us to live differently and to make daily sacrifices. You know, "take up your cross and follow me."
Recently we were out in a village and as I watched my daughter play with two other little girls, at first I was thrilled. Ellie really can play with anyone. She's such a people person. Then I realized these little girls weren't playing nice. They kept taking away the toy she was playing with. At first, I tried to encourage the little girls to "be nice." But that really wasn't working.
There has to be a better answer...right? So I pulled Ellie over to me. We had a little heart to heart about the importance of being able to share the Gospel with this family. I mean, we both knew that Ellie had the toy first and she had every "right" to play with it. But I asked my 4-year old to sacrifice her "right" to the toy, and give it to the little girls. To my daughter's credit, she willingly handed it over with a good attitude. Yes, it took her a few minutes to come to grips with that request, but she did it.
The end of that story...well, those girls soon lost interest in that toy and threw it (literally, they threw it) on the floor. But we maintained peace in a home where we are trying to share God's love.
Since then, I've pondered the question, "what is God asking me to sacrifice?" There are many things in my life that I feel I have a "right" to have or to do. I have a right to privacy...but what if I move in to a small village? God will be asking me to give up some of that privacy and willingly invite strangers into my life. To observe us. To judge us. To judge our way of life. How we eat. How we rear our children.
Are there other "rights" that I need to be willing to sacrifice? I have no doubt. I only hope that I can act as bravely as my 4-year old daughter.