25 February, 2011

I am not what I do

So, what is a missionary? I don't really have a succinct answer and looking at my own life isn't much help. This week has been a hodgepodge of activity in my life. Here are some samples:

We started the week with two days "off". As in - no school, but full-on here at home. My husband and I took it in turn to do errands and look after the boys. After much pleading, we made salt-dough and the boys played with it for much of Monday morning.

Tuesday we spent at Joyful Honda, selecting a new pet turtle. Read here for more details.

I received an acceptance and a rejection of meditations I've written.

I met for nearly two hours with my colleague, the managing editor of Japan Harvest.

I spent time trying to coordinate the printing of the programme I designed for next week's women's retreat.

I sought to find a time to meet with a new Occupational Therapy client.

I joined in lunch with a lively group of ladies farewelling one who is returning to the US.

In between these plus time at the gym, shopping and cooking (with a tiny bit of cleaning); I spent time considering my own heart and soul.

But none of these things really define who I am. If I tried to use it for a basis of who I am, I'd get mightily confused!

Today I spent two hours with three other precious ladies studying the Psalms of Ascent. A blessed time of lifting our eyes above our present reality and focusing on our Heavenly Father.

I'm reminded again and again that what we look like and what we do is not who we really are. Who I really am is a child of the King. An imperfect, yet forgiven person. We tend to get it mixed up - thinking that who we are is what we do or know, however I'm learning that "Being" (or what is in our heart) is the foundation for Knowing and Doing, not the other way around.

So it is not so important that I am a missionary or a mum or a wife or anything else. If I look to those things for who I am, I'll always be disappointed.

Whoa, this is a little deep for a Friday afternoon. Does it make any sense to you?


KarenKTeachCamb said...

Yes, yes, yes! It makes perfect sense. The major role in my life is being teacher to my class of 22 3rd grade students. It's a role I love, but it is not who I am. By nationality I'm an Aussie, but that's not who I am. Thinking about marital status and age, I'm a maturing single female, but that's not who I am etiher. Who I am is a chosen child of our wonderful heavenly Father, who has accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour. I do many things, and I have a "rich" background that helps shape how I do those many things, but most of all I'm a beloved child of God.

Thanks for these thoughts Wendy. They are great!

Karen said...

Yes, it makes heaps of sense to me.

I really enjoy reading your posts about missionary life because it is so different to the missionary stereotype of converting the cannibals in deepest Africa (I am about to start reading The Poisonwood Bible...).

And constantly seeing ourselves as Christians first and everything else second takes practice. Being back at work this week has made me realise how low work has fallen on life's priority list for me. It used to seem so important even only a few years ago, now it just isn't.

And your "being, knowing and doing" framework sounds very OT-ish (have you heard about Wilcock's "doing, being and becoming" framework for occupation??)