Tuesday, October 25, 2011
V.S. a religious obligation or an attitude of the heart?
Voluntary service workers; to some this label takes you back to the days of the draft, when all our young conservative men fulfilled their obligation to our government by choosing non combat service to assist our military. But today this term has put on a new set of clothes. V.S. worker; is an all encompassing phrase to describe single young people who commit to a set amount of humanitarian or missionary service.
This practice has been well established within our churches since the times of war. Making it almost natural for our youth; they grow up listing to the older youth tell stories of when they were in Guatemala or Nicaragua and there is an unspoken expectation for all at one point or another to serve a “term” somewhere.
Living in the third world and seeing this practice carried out, there comes a time when my heart bleeds. A “term” has a beginning and an end, it’s the first question I get asked. So when is your term up? But may I ask; does service to our almighty creator have an end?
A young person (or family) comes to a new place to start learning things as an infant again, to earn a voice, respect, position. When these things begin to unfold and a person starts to flourish there term comes to an end. I have seen it over; someone you see that seems to be effective yet they say “I am going home” you ask “why?” “My time is up” they say. No they are not deathly ill nor did God call them to a new and greater field, just their time is up. They have fulfilled their religious obligation only to leave and live their quaint Christian life in the land of their birth. Just another conservative to say “When I was in????”.
Let us realize that this starts with expectations. If all those who have “volunteered” when we arrived home were greeted by “Oh why back so soon?” “Did you have problems” or “When are you going back”. How do you think that would affect their thinking?
Whatever happened to those that left and never went back? The Jim Elliott’s and Hudson Taylors those that were so committed to the call of Christ that time and place had no hold. Some may think, well we need to get longer commitments out of our staff. But no it’s about a committed heart living each day to bring worship to the throne of our lord Jesus Christ. Oh father would you lay open our hearts so that we might see the selfishness of man and turn in disgust to plunge headlong into a life of service to you.