As I write this, two friends of mine are on their way overseas. One is a "first-timer" in the mission world and is going for the initial four-year term. The other is a "veteran" and is going back to her beloved field in a very dark area of the world. Two other couples I know are actively pursuing the same course. Meanwhile, the Lord has brought a gal who has been overseas for multiple years back to the States for full-time ministry just like He did with me. The Christian life is full of paradoxes and nowhere do I see that more clearly than in the area of service to our Lord and King.
One of the friends mentioned above wrote this on her blog recently,
"...following this One is worth every move, every friendship gained and lost, every possession sold or given, every sickness in a new place. Christ says he gives us freedom, and we often think “freedom from sin and death, freedom from Satan’s condemnation and the grip of the world.” But what about freedom to go wherever he calls whenever he leads? What about freedom to give up even good, normal desires and activities for the sake of something that transcends family bonds and traditions and places and time? I am rootless right now, but I will gladly be rootless for something like this. I am rootless, and I am free."
I love that! Rootless. Is that not what every single one of us should be? Rootless to our own desires and hopes and dreams? Rootless to the common American assumptions about how life is to be lived? Rootless to our own preconceived notions about what life with Christ indeed is like? Because not everyone will be called overseas. Nor will everyone be called to missions in "Jerusalem." Some will go to Judea, some to the uttermost parts of the world, some to families, some to friends. But ALL are called to serve the Lord with our ENTIRE beings, mind, body, soul, and strength!
Being rootless does not only mean freedom to leave your native land. It means being freed to do WHATEVER God calls you to do! It means talking to that person God has put on your heart. It means praying for your coworkers and asking for the boldness to witness the Gospel. It means living this life as though, truly, you do not belong here and you are looking forward to a permanent eternal home, lived before the God you serve. It is a way of life, a mentality, a focus, a dynamic way of living so that, whether you find yourself overseas or in your hometown of 300, you can still just as vibrantly serve the Lord and please him, forsaking the desires of this life in favor of His will and His desires.
Just as death brings life and leaving all begets great riches, so too, this paradox of rootlessness enters the Christian life. Rootless to the world, rooted in Jesus Christ!