Towards the end of my support raising, I've noticed a strange change in many of my relationships. Especially as many friends and acquaintances move back into the area for another year of school, I've noticed that my impending departure seems to almost hang like a shadow over many conversations I have. It enters the conversation eventually. It seems to make some people uncomfortable, which makes me feel odd. I've only had a couple people ask what actually led to making this decision, and try to uncover my motives. Most are just excited about travel, memories, and everything that I'll get out of this.
On the other hand, my relationships with friends who have given themselves to doing ministry have changed as well. I feel a deeper connection with them; almost as if our purposes have been intertwined even more tightly. I have developed a new understanding and appreciation for the idea of an inner circle, and how important it is to be conscious of the types of people you surround yourself with. I want all my friends, whether in ministry or not, to catch the vision.
I've always considered myself good at striking up conversations with anyone, and good at quickly finding areas of common interest to dispel any awkwardness. But that's exactly how I would describe many conversations with some of the people that I've known for the last 3 or 4 years: awkward. I don't like this sudden disconnect, and I'm trying to figure out how I can be real with other Christians, without coming off as superior, or as someone who is really following Jesus. There's a very good chance that I'm blind to some of my own shortcomings as well. I do have a tendency to think arrogantly. However, I don't want there to be such a large disconnect between Christians who Go, and Christians who Stay. Our purpose should be the same, right? These are some pretty unrefined thoughts, so hopefully I haven't misspoken. If you have thoughts on this, let me know. It is true that there is a chasm between the need for the Hope of the Gospel in the rest of the world, and the vast riches we have in the United States. There is a great need for Christians to go. But there is also a need for people to stay. I truly desire that everyone part of God's kingdom would be intentional in their given role. But I also think it's important to understand that we all are working towards the goal of making God's glory known to all nations and peoples.