Normally, I try not to look too much to the future, for tomorrow is yet to be and often does not live up the hype (good or bad). This week, though I have been spending a little time everyday preparing for next week. Sunday morning I am leaving for one of the best weeks of my year. Sunday, I leave on a mission trip with the CTCYM (Central Texas Conference Youth in Misson).
This year is different for several reasons. First, I am not going with my home church. Second, it is the first mission trip in many years where I was not the pastor. These two things are a bit disappointing, but they are small mole-hills of disappointment compared to the expected joys of the trip.
This year will be exciting and new as well. This is the first time I am going as a dad to one of the junior high youth on the trip. Yep, Austin is going on his first mission trip. What a joy to be a father and watch a young man grow up right before your eyes! Every day he becomes more and more of a young man. He needs to shave for the second time and we just shave a few weeks ago. His voice is no longer the voice of a child. His wisdom and intellegence are growing daily as well. And he wants to go with me on a trip!
For me this is the best week of the year because in this week I almost always feel close to Christ and his teachings. Sure some of that is due to the nightly worship, morning devotions, guided discussions during lunch. Even more it is based in serving my brothers and sisters, semi-monastic living, and being reminded of our interconnectedness as people.
As Christians, we all are called to mirror Christ in our lives. Some days we are better mirrors than others, but when we stop and act as a servant to someone else, when we tend to one who is in need, when we love our neighbor as ourself, we are acting mostly perfectly as Christ.
Yes, mission trip week is a holy week for me. My wife, Tammy, almost makes me go because of how much good it does for my attitude and my spirit. I expect to be blessed because I expect to see a bunch of 12 to 14 year old youth and a group of adults working hard to share the kingdom of God and the gospel of Christ in a real and tangible way in a small town in west Texas.