Last week we had around 60 volunteers from our church, Texas A&M, UT Dallas, and Lamar University come together and run the sports camp that our church puts on every Spring Break called Champs Camp. They did a great job, and the camp went so well! This is also spring break mission trip month. Youth and college groups from around the country go around the world for a week to serve others an spread the name of Jesus in thousands of different ways. I think this is a great thing, but it left me wondering why we spend this week going hard, worshiping through work, meeting others, and enjoying ourselves, only to go back and just live on the memories until the next trip. We have the opportunity to serve this way all the time. We have the opportunity to treat our life like a mission trip.
- We can work hard. During Mission Trip Week we generally get up way earlier than normal. And that’s ok. We’ve got a lot of stuff to do. When we’re done though? We go back to getting up when we have to, and trudging through. What if we were to treat a normal week like mission trip week and get up early and get ourselves ready to be productive for the whole day? Even when we know we have a long day and late night ahead of us. During the day? Go. Hard. Do what you’re doing to the fullest extent you know how. When you’re done with something? Find something else to do.
- We need to rest. All that working hard will take it out of you. Make sure you build two or three times to just rest throughout your day. Just sit and be. Maybe steal a 10 minute nap. Seriously. It will help you make it through the day. When you’re “work” is done? Grab 30-45 minutes to yourself (Yes, even those of you who have kids. You’ll find yourself better equipped ti handle them with some rest in you). And go to bed as early as you possibly can. Also? Take a Sabbath. You’re not better than God. You need rest. Build it into your life.
- Play. Usually on theses trips there’s “fun” stuff in the evenings, and maybe even a full day of fun or tourism. And that’s great. We should play. We should have fun with our family and friends. Make sure you’re taking time out to experience life with others. Go out to eat. Cook a meal with friends. Go bowling. Go to a park. Get out. Do something. Have fun. Play.
- Worship. Worship with others corporately. Sing, learn what God’s word has to say. But worship in your play, and your rest, and your work. DO those things in a way that glorifies God. He created us to bring glory to Him in all that we do. So find out what that looks like in your day to day in addition to your once a week or so.
- Lastly. Stories. Share stories. Listen to stories. I don’t know what it is about mission trip week that makes us so open to this, but we love it. We love to hear about what is going on with the people we meet, and hear their stories, and to grow deeper friendships with those we know already by sharing what’s been happening in our lives. This isn’t a practice that we keep during “normal weeks”. But I think there’s great value in this. Ask people about their big stories, and their little stories. Be willing to share yours.
We waste an awful lot of time (50-51 weeks out of the year) by thinking that these are just mission trip things. These are follower of Jesus things, and I think we’d all benefit from practicing them in our normal weeks.
Grace & Peace,