Poverty. Persecution. Suffering. Lostness. Addiction. Darkness. These are things that consume our world, hold happiness in a stranglehold, and suck the life out of billions of people. This planet we call home is riddled with pain, and those of us who are blessed enough to be removed from such horrors as starvation, disease, and filth so easily ignore it all. It’s so easy to sit inside our air conditioned houses on cushy couches and make grandiose plans about our futures.
But don’t we have a responsibility to the lost and suffering? As a Christian I believe that Jesus has called me to follow Him in making disciples, bringing the gospel to all nations, and helping the suffering. It is my purpose in life to know, love, and serve Him. Where does a trip to Britain fit into all that?
For a long time I’ve struggled with the difficult question, “Is this really how God wants me to spend my time and money?” Couldn’t my Britain fund be put to a better use in saving someone’s life in Sudan or feeding a hungry child in Guatemala? Should I be flying to Tanzania instead of England? Should I work with the unreached masses in India rather than attend a Bible school in Lancashire?
The answer seems obvious—of course bringing the gospel to the world is more important than a pleasure-trip for me. But then how do I go about it? Do I relinquish all my dreams of European travel and immediately dedicate myself to the lost and starving? Which lost and which starving? African, Asian, American?
Is it going overboard to give up my lifelong dream for Christian service, or is it exactly the kind of radical devotion and total abandonment that Jesus requires?
Have you ever been faced with this dilemma—to pursue something for yourself or to give it up for others, or if you’re a Christian, for Christ? I don’t want to live a self-consumed life where I am the end and the means and Jesus is just a friendly spectator. I don’t want to go to Britain if it isn’t His will.
And so I’m back to square one. Confused, worried, depressed, unsure. Is this what following Christ is like, or is this what fighting against Him is like?