In reflecting on the life of Neil Armstrong last week, I read several short stories (quotes really) about the Apollo astronauts’ view of their missions. Many of them, including Neil Armstrong saw little probability of the success they enjoyed. However they embraced the opportunity to be a part of something much larger than their own personal success, that is the movement of the space program further along. Even though I live in Florida and enjoy following the space initiatives of NASA, the mission of the gospel comes to mind for me. How often do we forget as Christ-followers, that in claiming Christ’s name, we are now part something larger than our own personal life and comfort? What are we willing to sacrifice to move the mission along? Billy Graham in one of his final interviews, reminds the church that this inner conflict is nothing new. He insists that,
“…the most important issue we face today is the same the church has faced in every century: Will we reach our world for Christ? In other words, will we give priority to Christ’s command to go into all the world and preach the gospel? Or will we turn increasingly inward, caught up in our own internal affairs or controversies, or simply becoming more and more comfortable with the status quo? Will we become inner-directed or outer-directed? The central issues of our time aren’t economic or political or social, important as these are. The central issues of our time are moral and spiritual in nature, and our calling is to declare Christ’s forgiveness and hope and transforming power to a world that does not know him or follow him. May we never forget this.” Christianity Today, 1/21/2011
The question remains the same, what will this generation sacrifice for the mission of God? Will we develop a comfort mindset or a mission mindset? Will we seek obedience to Jesus’ commands or seek refuge from oppression in the walls of a church? How will we teach our children to engage a culture increasingly hostile to objective truth? Will we over-protect them or launch them into the fray emboldened by the gospel and empowered by the Spirit? We can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure, or even temporary setbacks. The mission is won through Christ’s work for us, we now just need to run the race. On my morning run, these are some of the many questions on which I reflect (between distractions of snakes, bicycles, and cars).