What is Your Mission

by Karl Ihfe

What is your mission? Do you ever think about that?  I believe most people don’t.  And if I’m being honest, I’d have to lump myself in that category as well. I can get so focused on getting through my day that I don’t stop to consider the purpose and direction of it in the first place. It’s not that what I’m doing isn’t important, it’s just been put on autopilot.  Can you relate?  What helps you snap out of it?

For me recently it’s been a show called Returning the Favor.  It’s stars Mike Rowe who travels the country in search of remarkable people making a difference in their communities. He has met mechanics, farmers, students, hairstylists, cowboys, and first responders (just to name a few), each who have dedicated themselves to helping their friends and neighbors in a significant but often hidden way. They aren’t out to make headlines or a million dollars, only a difference. Usually under the guise of making a documentary, Mike interviews these incredible men and women about why they do what they do. It’s always a moving and powerful story.

I’ve picked up a couple of themes listening to their stories that I think are powerful.  The first one is this — these people don’t live on autopilot.  In fact, they haven’t just turned off autopilot in their lives, they’ve removed it from their vocabulary.  Instead, they’ve dedicated themselves to sacrifice and service. The second flows right out of the first — they all have a mission. They do what they do for a reason. Their mission keeps them focused, motivated, and energized.  It’s keeps them going when they don’t receive the recognition they deserve or the resources they need. 

Whenever I watch an episode I’m inspired as I see ordinary people doing extraordinary things, not for fame and glory, but for something much deeper and more powerful — for hope.  For love. Though Mike’s show is not overtly Christian, it is drenched in gospel.  When I listen to these men and women talk about why they serve and sacrifice, I can’t help but hear Jesus — ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40). When they describe what their daily lives are like, trying to make ends meet and make a difference in the lives of others, I can’t help but hear the words of Paul — As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1).  They may not always recognize it, but they are doing Kingdom work. And it’s because they decided to live on purpose, on a mission.

So what’s your mission? Are you living a life worthy of the calling you’ve received?  In this issue of By the Way magazine you’re going to read about some ways we’re trying to do just that here in Lubbock and around the world.  Our hope is to inspire you with opportunities to live on mission in your family, school, neighborhood, or workplace.  We invite you to join us in giving back some of the love, grace, and hope that God has so generously poured out into our lives, knowing that is a mission worth living for, it’s our simple way of returning the favor.

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