My last blog post talked about how God showed me a few years back that our neighbors are one of our local mission fields. However, today God reminded me that our family is another mission field that we have right in front of us.
Ellie had a local three day regional volleyball tournament this weekend. The whole family went Friday, just Ellie and I went yesterday (Kevin took the boys to soccer), and the kids and I went today. This morning, all five of us went to the early service at church together, but then Kevin had to drive to the airport to catch a flight for work and I drove the kids uptown for the last day of volleyball.
The kids and I prayed that we could find free street parking today. We had spent $45 in parking the last two days and quite frankly, I really wanted to find a free spot today. We drove around and were able to park for free about half a mile away from the convention center where we were playing. We all got out of the van, and unfortunately someone must have hit the lock button on the door as we were getting out (I always lock the van with the fob on my key ring). I put my keys in my coach’s bag, and went to grab the bag, but at the last second, some random racquetball dropped out of my van and started rolling down the hill we were parked on. I went to grab the ball before it ended up in a sewer somewhere. But as I reached for the ball, the drivers side door closed, locking the van with keys and wallet inside.
Thank you, Jesus, my phone was in my coat pocket. I tried all of the doors and no luck. We were stuck. I immediately called Kevin and asked if he had time to come unlock the door for me before he flew out or if I should call a locksmith or perhaps do something else.
Kevin had already parked at the airport parking lot, ridden the shuttle to the terminal and was inside the airport when I called. (This was about 80 minutes before his flight was to take off). He said he would quickly grab an Uber to my location, unlock the van for me and head back to the airport, hopefully with enough time to catch his flight.
After I knew he was coming, I saw a large group of people from the volleyball tournament walking towards the convention center. I asked the mom if Ellie could walk over with them so I could wait at the van. (Note, I normally would NEVER let her go with strangers, but God was giving me such peace, I was ok with it.) Even if I was late to the game, she could make it in time. The mom of the group gave me her phone number and a hug - I will admit to getting a little frazzled at this point. A few minutes later she even sent me a picture of Ellie in front of the court where she needed to be while I waited for Kev. (God is always faithful to supply all of our needs!)
Kev texted me while he was driving over, telling me not to worry and that he was on his way. He also wrote the most beautiful words I needed to hear.
“You are more important than a flight.”
A few minutes later, Kev rolled up in his Uber, gave me his keys to unlock my door and he gave me a quick kiss. And just like that, he was heading back to the airport in his Uber and the boys and I were walking to the convention center.
My Prince Charming saved my day, but his words really struck me. “You are more important than….”
How often, do we give the opposite impression to our number one mission fields - our families? It could come in various forms. Perhaps there is someone who struggles with putting their phone down long enough to give their kids or spouse their undivided attention? Perhaps there is someone who spends more time keeping their house clean, than interacting with those that live in it? Or maybe there is someone who would rather go out with their friends, than a much needed date with their spouse? Or maybe there is someone who works more than they really need to, missing important dinners at home or kids’ sports games or recitals? Or maybe, just maybe, there is someone who might have said, “YOU are the one who locked the keys in the van. That’s YOUR fault and YOU need to find the solution. I can’t handle your problems today.”
You are more important than…… Aren’t those the exact words Jesus said in Matthew 6 (CEV) when he reminds us not to worry?
“Jesus said to his disciples: I tell you not to worry about your life! Don’t worry about having something to eat or wear. Life is more than food or clothing. Look at the crows! They don’t plant or harvest, and they don’t have storehouses or barns. But God takes care of them. You are much more important than any birds. Can worry make you live longer?”
You are more important than….Jesus also preaches in Mark 12 about the second greatest commandment (below loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, which is the most important commandment).
“‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.”
You are more important than…..The meaning behind those words is also the exact reason God sent Jesus to die for our sins. By Jesus’ example, we learn that we were more important to Jesus than his suffering.
So, who are you telling with your words and actions that they are more important than…..?? And perhaps, we all need to take a closer look at the mission field God has placed inside our very own homes and reevaluate the messages we are sending them.