A Lazy Missionary

August 2, 2010


This week, the youth group I advise is doing mission work.  We had planned to go away for this, but that fell through and we had to put together something on the fly.  After a bit of scrambling, it all came together and things look good for the week.  Today, we worked in the church’s community garden which was planted  to supplement our food pantry ministry.  The garden was a great idea; it’s execution, however, has left a bit to be desired.  Nevertheless, we rolled up with a group of kids, pulled out the tools and got to work.  Within in a few minutes, I was reminded of something: I don’t like gardening.  Oh, I love what comes out of the garden.  As a good Southern boy, I love a mess of fresh vegetables and biscuits for dinner.  But, I well and truly hate planting and cultivating the very vegetables that would make such a meal possible.  For me, the advent of the farmer’s market is a wonderful thing.  Why do I hate gardening?  Two reasons: first,I have no talent for it.  My mother could grow an African violet on a rock; I can’t grow weeds.  I did not inherit her green thumb.  Second, saying I have no interest in plants and gardening would be an understatement of astronomical proportions.  Fortunately, today was the only day we’re working in the garden.  Unfortunately, we’re not done with such things.  Tomorrow, we’re gleaning with the Society of St. Andrew.  Wednesday, we’re handing out clothes and food with the Church in the Woods in downtown Raleigh.  Thursday is assisting Habitat for Humanity (older kids) and working in the food pantry (younger ones).  Friday is serving at a downtown soup kitchen.  These are all very worthy groups, doing great things and helping all kinds of folks.  I just wish it wasn’t so hard.  Why can’t I find missions like these?

  • Something in my living room.  In fact, I’d love a mission I could do from my recliner.  Maybe something involving my computer.  That would be great!
  • Something in the AC.  I’ll admit it…, I’m spoiled.  There are two things I refuse to live without: 1) Flush toilets and 2)Air conditioning.  If it was up to me, I’d never step outside from April to October.  I just don’t do heat.
  • Something I don’t have to get up early for.  Tomorrow, we’re going gleaning in Mebane which is about an hour away.  It’s going to be hot, so we’re leaving early to get most of the work done before the temperature rises.  That means getting up around 6 am.  I’m on vacation this week and that’s just not right.
  • Something that’s fun.  C’mon, we all know that having fun is as much a part of why we do this as helping others is.  So, let’s have some fun!

There isn’t any such animal as the one I seek.  Almost all mission opportunities are like what I’m already doing this week.  Hard, honest work for a good cause that benefits someone else.  I get that, I really do.  I just wanna know why it has to be so hard?

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