Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Road Trip

I woke up Thursday morning and debated with myself whether or not to hit the road. My 'vacation' week was winding down. I had cleaned out and organized my little office/computer room. I had traded my car for a pickup. I had taken my tax info by the accountant to FINALLY do my 2009 tax return.

The original plan had been for a road trip to somewhere, anywhere, get away from the hacienda and do something different. But the weather was a bit nasty this week and I postponed the trip to nowhere thinking that I would go later in the week when the rains had gone away.

When that day came, I almost argued myself out of the trip.

But, reasoning that I would kick myself in the rear if I didn't go, I packed my backpack with a change of clothes, grabbed my computer and put the truck in gear.

My pastor's wife, Abbie, had told me about the missions in San Antonio and I had decided that I wanted to see them.

I finally found my way to Mission Concepcion (after going in circles in San Antonio trying to find the right road). It is a beautiful and magnificent building and I took a few pictures. Then I made my way on down the trail to Mission San Jose. I never got to the other 2 missions. I spent so much time on these two.

Lucky me! I arrived on a weekday when the kids are back in school. So there were hardly any other tourists around and I practically had the whole place to myself. I felt like I had gone back in time to an era that has been romanticized by the fog of years.

Life must have been so hard for the Franciscan monks and for their converts, the local Indians. Growing their own crops, milling their wheat. Every basic need required hard work... monumental effort. And on top of the day to day chores and back breaking work, they had to also defend their missions against the Commanche Indians who regularly attacked...killing and stealing from them.

Yet even with all the hardship and danger, they managed to build these wonderful structures. The architecture is beautiful and the statuary and ironwork amazing. Even with all the hardship and danger, the monks managed to carry out their mission of bringing the message of Christianity to these people.

Such dedication to their calling and purpose amazes me. It made me reflect on my own commitment to the calling God has on my life. Would I be willing to go to a strange and foreign land and put my life on the line in order to tell others of Christ?

Missionaries have done this for centuries... Lived and died for the call of Christ.

It's very humbling when you think of it. It is hard to get a perspective on it. There are contemporary missionaries that are living this out even as I write these words. I have been receiving regular email from one for a few years now. She uses code words in her email so that the local government will not know that she is talking about Jesus. I am in awe of their love and commitment to Christ.

I was talking with God about this on the way home tonight. His calling on my life hasn't changed. Study His Word. Share His Word. Write devotionals and share them with others. Teach / speak when given the opportunity. No, His calling on me hasn't changed. But maybe I have been changed by walking a day in the past. Maybe my commitment to carrying out His command is more urgent and solid... more compelling.

The only wild Indians attacking me are my own inadequacies and weaknesses. I am not in fear for my life. I'm not called to a dangerous mission. My God is strong and loving enough to have His hand on missionaries to guide and protect them. I believe He can probably help me out with my shortcomings.

Lord, thank You for the men and women who have lived their lives to bring the love of Christ to the world... Thank You for those that have given their lives in that cause. Father God, keep me mindful of Your purpose for me and help me to be bold to do it. In Jesus' precious name.. amen.

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