Dec 17, 2014


Before I moved to Ukraine, I had to attend a month-long missionary training.  Half was about language acquisition and the other half about life acquisition.  How do you adapt, how do you survive, how do you thrive in this new culture, this new life you now have?  During this training we were put through a hostage simulation.  Let's be honest, I was skeptical about it feeling real and not cheesey.  Oh man, was I wrong!  It quickly became real and scary as my group was thrust into a harsh, scary, life-threatening hostage situation.  The cardboard box we were shoved in turned into a metal bunker in the middle of nowhere.  The darkness was overwhelming; almost squelching our spirit.  The voices in the background were no longer our trainers and teachers but dangerous enemies who threatened our lives.  When the "terrorists" demanded sacrifices, people I barely knew became those who I loved and couldn't bear to see "die."  We had to choose people to sacrifice, who then had to choose their freedom, their life or their God.  It was very real.  Much more real than I ever thought possible.

I'm not a foreign missionary anymore.  I'm not in the field fighting for the lives of the Ukrainians no matter the odds.  I'm just a "normal" person now.  Working a "normal" job.  There are no terrorists around demanding a sacrifice, demanding I give up my friends, my life, my God.  For some reason I was thinking about this today.  Sometimes, even though I'm in the "normal" world, I am put right in the middle of a hostage situation.  I fight an enemy who is asking me to give up, to sacrifice my attitude or morals, or just my mood or work ethic.  Every day I fight.  Every day we are in a hostage situation; some days are more hostile than others.  We may not realize it, but we are there and we do fight. 

Some days I give in to the enemy.  Instead of choosing Joy, choosing Light, choosing Excellence, I choose a bad mood, easily angered.  I choose making fun of the person who may be a little different, griping about the person who may be a little difficult.  I choose slacking off, waiting until the last minute to actually do my job.  I choose the enemy instead of the God who chose me, and chooses me every day.  God chose me to go to Ukraine; He chose me to move back to Arkansas; He chose me to move to Colorado; He chose me to work in Financial Aid when I wanted to do anything but; He chose my life instead of the life of His son.  The least I can do is chose him.  In my every day hostage situations, my every day that the enemy tries to get me to choose him.  I fight to choose to be a light in the darkness of the "normal" every day life.  

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