Last week a great mission stood before me. My mission was to obtain and secure valentine gifts for the three most important women in my life. I knew that was no easy venture. There would be obstacles and challenges before me. That said, failure to complete this mission would mean the disappointment of 2 preschoolers and an out of my league wife. As I looked upon this mission I knew that I needed to drive straight to Wal-Mart, go directly to the red pink aisle and buy what was necessary. The challenges were great. On my way I could have faltered and chosen to spend the money on a route 44 drink and order of cheddar peppers. Once at Wal-Mart I could go and spend it on something I “needed” such as coffee or ice-cream. I did not. I drove straight by Sonic, passed the freezer aisles, passed by the coffees and went directly to the red pink aisle.
Silly as it may seem we live on mission in some way. In every life that are certain purposes that must be fulfilled. We purpose to live financially viable lives so once a month our mission is to pay our bills. We purpose to survive so we go on mission by eating. We purpose to provide for our families so we go on mission to work every day. Are there obstacles? Absolutely. We see a new gadget and so we spend our money on that and in turn fail our mission in paying our bills. We wake up with a headache and in turn abort the mission of going to work. Failure to complete life’s missions results in failure to meet life’s purposes.
Both Christians and churches share a common purpose: to glorify God. We also share the common mission in accomplishing that purpose: the great commission (Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.). The great temptation for all of us is to get distracted and miss our mission. As churches we often get distracted with programs, fellowships, funding and buildings. All of these things are good, but if they aren’t a part of the great commission mission they are vanity. As Christians we get busy with life, friends, church, programs and any number of things. All these are well and good, but we must not get distracted from our primary mission.
I guess I am challenged today. I must look at my life and ask if I am on task in accomplishing my mission and in turn fulfilling my purpose, or am I living from distraction to distraction. I must look at my leading of God’s church and ask are we accomplishing our great mission and fulfilling our purpose, or are we wasting time moving from distraction to distraction. How about you? What about your church?