“What’s important?” is an important question in discerning how we are to participate with God in God’s mission. A corollary question is asking, “how do I know what I should be doing in participating with God in God’s mission?”
In other blogs I have talked about being open to sense what the Spirit is doing in forming a community, in discovering the vision the Spirit is making visible through whom the Spirit is bringing into our communities, and yet, I think there is another clue to knowing what is important.
Jesus, as recorded by Matthew in Matthew 28:19, expresses, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Often in understanding this command of Jesus’ we place the emphasis on “Go!” and then ask “where we are to go?” Trying to answer the question of “where to go?” can sometimes be anxiety producing.
However, “Go!” is not an imperative, it is a participle – “as you go . . .” – and that changes our understanding of discovering what is important in discerning how we are led by the Spirit in participating with God wherever God is active.
In following Jesus in an attitude of “as you go . . .” I have come to realize that the Spirit is leading us in the midst of the ordinary moments of our days. “As we go about doing our normal everything things; as we go about doing what we end up doing everyday; as we go about living our lives – taking the kids to their activities, working, shopping, and whatever else we do in our days” – in these normal times of our lives, we are to be engaged in making disciples (which is the imperative here).
So to answer the question of “what’s important?” – what does the Spirit of God want us to be involved in as we partner with God, we need to become aware of the stuff of our daily living. We do not need to add another agenda to our lives, another set of activities, but infuse the normalcy of our days with missional participation. In realizing that the normal living of our days is the stuff of our missional participation with God, we begin to realize that “what’s important?” is what we do day in and day out in our lives. All of our living makes up what is important for our participating with God – because God wants to touch people in the ordinary times of their lives.
As we take notice of our ordinary activities, may we offer them prayerfully to the leading of the Spirit in our lives – pray saying: “Lord, give me your eyes to see what and who you want me to see, give me ears to hear your voice, give me a heart that is sensitive to your compassion – as I do what I am about doing today.” As we pray this way, we will begin to see the ordinary stuff of our days is infused with the leading of the Spirit, guiding us in our participating with God in God’s mission of bringing hope, peace, joy, and life through Jesus Christ into the lives of others whom we encounter in our days.
Often times we make mission and ministry way too difficult – participating with God in God’s mission is meant to happen in the everyday ordinariness of our living. All of life becomes important because all of our life is infused with the leading of the Spirit, and the lives around us are important because the Spirit is reaching out to transform their lives.