“Let’s just buy the tickets and go…”
These are the words Jordan said to me as we sat in different states, phones pressed to our ears, and our hands gliding across our laptop keyboards. We decided that sometimes you just have to click BUY and stop asking the infamous what if questions.
We bought the tickets that night. Michael bought his a few days later, and we all decided to say “Yes” to Ireland.
So, here we are a few months later and we are counting down the days until we get on the plane for Ireland. I think it’s safe to say that we have no idea what’s in store. I think that’s my favorite part about this whole thing. I think I like the idea of crossing oceans and planting my feet in some unfamiliar dirt for a few weeks and not trying to plan every second, not trying to create my own agenda.
We’re all perfectly aware that we’re not going to be poverty-stricken and sleeping in the dirt. We know that we will have food, beds, beautiful surroundings. Believe me when I say that we realize we are fortunate to be called to go to such a beautiful part of the world. Still, I can already say that I’ve experienced hardship surrounding this trip. The constant eye rolls, the snide remarks about how we will really be “suffering for Jesus”. Some people are offended at the thought of Ireland being a “mission trip”. I don’t really care what label you put on it, call it whatever you’d like.
I’m going to Ireland because Jesus asked me to. I’m not going so that I can post “missionary pictures” on my Facebook and look like I’m a better Christian than other people. (Don’t get me wrong though, I’m probably going to take at least 47 million pictures and bombard everyone’s newsfeed with the beauty of Ireland). If it sounds like a vacation, then that’s sad, and I encourage you to ask Jesus about it and then decide to feel however you feel. I realize He could have said “go to Africa and live in a hut”, but this time, He didn’t. I don’t really understand all of that, but I’m not one for arguing with the one who says “Go.”
But I do have some thoughts. I think this trip is about more than giving money to the poor or food to the hungry. If that opportunity arises, I’ll definitely take it! But I think this trip is mostly about hope. I think a lot of His plan about us going to Ireland is for love.
I think its about learning to give my time and my heart to people who have just as much as I do, who have stuff. They have cars and watch movies. They have shoes and know how to tie them, but it doesn’t mean they’re unworthy of my money or my time. I think it’s about knowing that every person struggles, every society aches for answers, all of humanity hangs around looking for hope to show up on their doorstep.
I want to travel 3,630 miles to share meals with strangers and turn them into friends. I want to tell them thatit matters who they are and what they do. Sometimes, it’s about one person. Sometimes God sends you to crazy places and asks you to do unconventional things because it might just shake one individual, and that person might be the next Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King Jr. Yeah, that person might just be someone who changes the entire world.
I’m going to laugh, to have crazy stories, to make a mark, to give my heart because they matter… even with their McDonald’s and modern technology, they matter. Jesus pointed them out on a map to us and said “they matter to me, so decide to let them matter to you.”
He’s got more than enough love, more than enough time, more than enough hope to go around. This month, to the three of us, He says Ireland. Most days of my life He says North Carolina, and I don’t roll my eyes and simply say, “Oh, but Jesus, they have iPhone’s and Target here, they don’t need me to tell them about You.” I want to choose love wherever He puts me. I want to choose to give out my time, my heart, and the truth wherever He asks. Right now, He’s put His finger on Ireland and I couldn’t be more excited.