During marathon training, my coach would take great pleasure in adding lots of hills to our routes excitedly calling them “opportunities.” I didn’t share her excitement but after a few training programs realized added opportunities in training along with miles that were slightly longer than they should be (she added length on purpose) meant being stronger on race day.
That idea of hills being opportunities came back to me recently as I returned to Barrouaille after two-weeks at home. The combination of a little bit of gained weight (okay a lot) and being away for two-weeks made the smallest hill feel like Mount Everest!
To be perfectly honest a big part of me wanted to avoid the hills till I was in better shape…but with the Lords help, I’ve continued trudging up them.
Because Missions needs engagement…and engagement is hard work
- it walks up the hills wearing a sweat-stained shirt as its badge of honor
- Makes eye-contact, a smile, and good morning to everyone it passes (along with the occasional joke about their weight)
- And with the help of Aleve (or icy-hot) cuts through peoples excuses to ask “but if you died right now where would you go?”
- it’s also done behind the scenes (you don’t list the number of miles walked in your prayer letter)
- But without engagement, you cannot have missions
Perhaps along with Bibles and Theological textbooks we should also buy Missionaries a good pair of walking shoes.