I had a hard time titling this post and an even harder time writing this post. This post has been stewing inside of me since Saturday and is probably not going to be an easy "write" or an easy read. Saturday morning I was perusing Facebook before I headed out to yard sale/Zumba and I saw a post from a friend that she was waiting for news from the other side of the world. This particular friend went to the same college that I graduated from and so I knew that she, like me, had many friends who were missionaries across the world. When I got home I continued to see similar status updates from friends here in Knoxville so this time I went searching. The one thing that I found was that there was a story out of Afghanistan in which 10 aid workers had been killed. As time passed throughout the day I found out that they were waiting to find out the status of a young lady of 32, Cheryl Beckett. Cheryl's father is a minister at Woodlawn Christian Church here in Knoxville. WCC is where I went to church my last two years at Johnson (but he was not the minister at the church while I attended and I do not know him personally). Later that day I was reading in Psalms and found the following:
"Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life." Psalm 39:4 (NIV)
It was a reality check for me- it showed me, once again, how fleeting life can be. How life can be cut short before anyone expects it to be. Her father gave a statement to the local media and can be found in full HERE (or in a four part video interview HERE) however I want to highlight what I think is one of the most inspiring points he makes (and by inspiring I mean it has caused me to ask myself a lot of questions in the the few minutes since I first read it).
"Years ago, Cheryl, 32, was offered a scholarship to continue post-graduate study at Johns Hopkins University. "She declined, because she felt called to do something else," Rev. Beckett explained, growing teary-eyed. One question drove her choice. "She tried to figure out, 'What is it that God wants to do with my life?'" Rev. Beckett explained. The answer eventually came -- Afghanistan and humanitarian aid.... The trip would involve a long journey to give medical aid in one of the country's most isolated communities, where a toothbrush is a luxury. "They were not ignorant, they were not naive of what they were facing," Rev. Beckett said. "What they were was compelled by the pleas of the Afghan people."
That question in orange has been pounding in my head since I read it. Cheryl got her answer and ultimately left this earth to enter the presence of her Savior doing what God had called her to do. I have been asking myself that same question over and over for most of my life and never has it resonated in my heart like it has tonight. I KNOW that I am called to go to ALL the world. That includes my classroom, my work, my church, and my neighborhood. It also includes my city, my state, and my nation. But, it doesn't stop there- I was once told that ALL means ALL- not some, not just a little sliver- ALL. 2 Corinthians 5:14 states that Christ's love compels us...and because He died for all (again there's that word ALL) then as a follower of Christ I should then live my life likewise- for HIM.
I guess my challenge is this- ask yourself the same question that drove Cheryl and then seek Him to find out the answer. Understand that it may not come today, it may not come tomorrow, but if you seek him you will find an answer. Jeremiah 29:13: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." I have decided that these words are going in my classroom- no reference but when I see them I will know- three simple words- SEEK and FIND.
Before I leave this very lengthy post- there is a song by a young lady- Britt Nicole called Set the World on Fire- you can find the lyrics HERE (in the interest of saving space I am not putting them here) but I wanted to highlight this part- the first verse:
I wanna set the world on fire
Until it's burning bright for You
It's everything that I desire
Can I be the one You use?