What if some of the unexpected things that happen in my life have nothing to do with me? What if something inconvenient or bad happens and there is no lesson for me to learn? What if there are things that happen in my life that happen because God is doing something in someone else’s life that has absolutely nothing to do with me?
OK, these are some very raw and undeveloped thoughts that will follow, but I believe that they could be key to developing a more missional mindset and challenge how we teach kids about what their role is in life and how we talk about seemingly random negative happenings in life. (Wow, that was a huge run-on sentence!)
Why is it that when we talk about negative things that happen in our lives, we quickly assume God is trying to teach us a lesson or that he’s setting us up for something better? What if there is no lesson to learn? What if there is no something better that is directly related to what is happening to us in that moment? What if there is someone or something else that God is working on that requires us to be inconvenienced? What if there are other Kingdom matters going on than what is going on in my life at that moment? Am I OK with that? Do I really mean it when I pray, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done.” Even if it means I’m not directly benefiting… even if I end up being inconvenienced… or end up experiencing pain?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that pain is something that is trivial. I don’t think God is sadistic or not caring. I do believe Romans 8:28.
My point, then? I think that a huge shift we need to make in order to have a missional mindset… for the kids we minister to… for the families we minister to.. to have a missional mindset is to really struggle with what the statement, “It’s not about me,” means. Are we truly concerned with manifesting God’s Kingdom here than we are about making sure all things work together for our own good? And how do we teach that while still teaching that God cares in the midst of real pain and real hurt?