Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: MISSION (01/30/20)
TITLE: Whose Mission?
By Rene Kirstein
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You hear isolated clapping before the auditorium erupts with applause as Pinchas Zuckerman and Itzhak Perlman enter the stage. Perlman is assisted to his seat and Zukerman watches as Perlman's violin and bow are handed to him; he shuffles into a comfortable position, looks up and nods in Zukerman's direction. Zukerman nods in response and turns to face the orchestra.
A hush descends upon the audience, your body tenses with anticipation. The orchestra's eyes are fixed upon Zukerman, violins positioned, and bows ready. Zukerman bows his head slightly, closing his eyes for a moment. He looks up at the orchestra and slowly begins to sway his right hand. In perfect unison the bows sweep over the taught and finely tuned strings.
You close your eyes and allow the sweet sound of the opening bars of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major to wash over your mind and into your soul, dissolving all the thoughts and stress of the past week. The music fades; all eyes are riveted on Itzhak Perlman as he sits with bow poised.
As the bow touches the violin strings, Zuckerman spins to face Perlman, his eyes wide with horror. A rustle flows through the rest of the orchestra, a hum permeates the auditorium. Confusion turns to dismay as slowly you begin to recognize the melody of the Shindler's List theme.
"Ridiculous!" you say. "That's a stupid story, it will never happen!"
Yet, I would suggest it happens all the time—in the orchestra of life.
As we write mission statements regarding our personal lives, ministries, and churches, are we certain we are consistent with the mission call of the Conductor of all life? It may not be as far off as is Schindler's List theme from Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major, but I am certain that at best, it will be a tiny subset of what God intended.
In Genesis 2, God tells us what our mission is: He made us a carbon-copy of Himself and told us to rule over and care for the rest of creation, as His representatives. After Jesus' death that call was extended to our representing God's nature to those who do not yet know Him, drawing them back into the relationship for which they were created. Any refinement to this mission is a distortion of the mission.
Jesus did not teach about mission statements; His strategy was to watch His Father and do only what He saw His Father do.
So, what's the problem with writing a mission statement and changing it when and where necessary? you ask.
The problem is a principle of life: What you focus on is what you see.
No, I am not talking New Age teaching here, but a principle of life. It's the way our brain works. Your brain filters out information that is not of value to you and brings to your awareness that which is important to you. Just look around and notice what you see next time you set you heart on a new car. I believe this principle is the chief reason why we notice so few answers to prayer.
If we focus on our mission statements, we will miss most of what God is doing. We will miss most of the plans He has for us, because we are focused on our own plans.
Micah sets a frame that prepares you to see what God is doing throughout your day: "He has told you, O man what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly before your God." (Mic 6:8 NASB)
How different might your life be if you abandoned the fashionable trends? How much simpler would your life be if, like a bondservant with his beloved master, you kept you eyes singly upon the hand of your Master, watching for His bidding? What might you see that you now miss in the confusion of worldly notions and current trends? How less cluttered might your life be, if you flowed only with what the Father was doing?
We are here on His mission, not ours.
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