I've never forgotten the day I said goodbye to my church before I left for the "mission field" (and if you're just tuning in to my blog you should know my opinions of such terms and actions have radically changed since then) an elderly lady came up to me and said that when she was 20 years old that she "got a call" to go to India and she never did- and here's the part I'll never forget- she said that she has regretted not going every single day of her life.
It was her caution and her exaultation to me. Both a "good on ya for going" and a "don't do what I did" kind of heavy-handed pat on the back.
I've never forgotten that encounter. It used to be a motivator for me. "Keep going or else you'll end up with regrets like that lady." "Don't quit or else you'll be haunted for the rest of your life like that lady." But now I'm filled with nothing but sorrow for that woman. She had a family. Children. Grandchildren. A home. And she regretted it. It wasn't enough. It wasn't good. It wasn't honoring or pleasing to God in her sight; sight which had been so guilt ridden by the calls of Christian duty foisted upon her. What a shame.
I don't think that's what God wants. I don't think God is up there feeling disappointed because she didn't answer "her call" (if there is such a thing). I don't think He looks at her family or at her life and thinks, "Well I certainly made the best out of her bad decision. Too bad she didn't go to India, she really missed out."
What have we as a Christian culture done to make being a mom and a grandmother something to be regretted?
What have we as a Christian culture done to encourage neglecting our own families for the sake of saving someone else's?
I don't know. Just a thought.