At last , a blog post that isn’t just a blimeycowphotoaday update! I wrote this originally, had Joel check it and he told me off for being so negative. Here’s the second attempt then…
Six years ago, I did beach missions. It was an experience.
There was a lot of good in it. I became more comfortable praying in a group situation, I learnt there are some forms of leadership I thrive under and the laidback ‘don’t worry it’ll all just pull together last minute’ is not one of them (this was in the subteam part)… I learnt I love working with children and it’s vital to wear suncream if you spend all day, every day, on a beach for a week (if it’s sunny)…
So a lot of good.
But. You knew there was a but, didn’t you?
Was I too young then? Yes, I would argue I was.
Did I go because God had called me? No, I went because it was the thing to do and friends were going and it was fun.
Do I regret it? I do in one sense.
I was under a fantastic leader and I really appreciated the spiritual feeding (we were in a very dry – dare I even say dead? – church then) but spending a week living with students and seeing the freedom they had made me come home resenting the restrictions still on me.
Perhaps having not gone to secondary school didn’t help either as I was unused to the hatred that can be thrown at Christians.
And at 16 I was still definitely working out my own faith – it wasn’t cemented yet.
But in one sense, that’s all a bit irrelevant.
It’s the past.
It’s happened and I can’t change it.
The reason I bring it up, however, is that in a few weeks I’m going back on beach missions.
And this time I’m older. This time I’m going with very different attitude. I am there not for myself. I am there to be part of a team and to seek, as best I can, to serve that team as well as those we will be reaching on the beach. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out…
Whilst I can’t change the past, I can let it teach me. This time, I realise my attitude and way I deal with things can shape a team (and my bad or negative attitude definitely can!).
I’m mature enough now to realise not everyone’s way of witnessing is the same or even should be the same. And that’s ok! If I reach people in a different way to other team members, it doesn’t mean I’m less or more a Christian than them. It just plain means that we were created unique by our God!
Plus, and this is a huge plus, this is stepping out of the boat and I can’t wait to see what Christ has planned. I can’t wait to walk on water! (no, not literally! Well, that would be cool but I’m doubting that!)