Over Christmas break we drove down south to New Orleans to visit my sister and brother-in-law. At the time, we were considering the Kingdom Worker positions in Chile and so took full advantage of my Spanish speaking brother who was carpooling with us. In-between listening to Hard Core History podcasts, he became a very energetic and animated Spanish professor. I will forever remember the word empujar- or as he said it, “EM-POOO-HAR,” accompanied with a fierce pushing motion on the POOO.
empujar: to push
I think it is safe to say that we are all familiar with various forms of the push. We have pushed ourselves, others around us, or have felt a push at different times in our lives.
Jon and I certainly felt a push earlier this year.
One day, inspired by my friend Ntozake who posted a “good read” on her instagram account, I downloaded *You and me Forever: Marriage in the Light of Eternity by Francis Chan onto my kindle. I pulled a teacher no no and stayed up late reading and re-reading the first several chapters on a school night. The next morning, I retold the information to Jon during the commute to school, and soon he was reading the book as well.
God really pushed us through the bible study in that book. It drew attention to how off-kilter our lives were and planted a desire in us to make the necessary changes to reprioritize our lives.
The devotion book boldly reminded us of God’s desire for His children to throw themselves into Him. While it is a devotion book on marriage, the first several chapters were dedicated to the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with Christ first and foremost. It reminded us that our lessons, classrooms, and even our kids should not come before our relationships with God.
Thank goodness for God’s impeccable timing, for it was right around this time that I remembered the posting for Chile that we saw in a church bulletin about a year before. I logged onto the Kingdom Worker’s website and realized that the posting was still open. We took a deep breath, completed an application, and pressed send.
We are excited to soon be in Chile for so many reasons, but the number one reason is because it is a God-given opportunity to purposely put Christ at the center of our lives and to encourage others to do the same. We are eager to switch gears and to have jobs that focus on digging into the word and sharing it with others. On top of all that we will still get to do a little teaching on the side which remains such a passion of ours. (And Christ can be taught openly in Chilean schools!)
push (verb) move forward by using force
In today’s world it is incredibly easy to push in the wrong direction. It is also easy to worry about what direction in which to push. We take so much peace and joy from Matthew 6:31-34.
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
*You and me Forever: Marriage in the Light of Eternity by Francis Chan is actually available for free online! (which I realized after I bought it) You can find it at http://www.youandmeforever.org/downloads/YouAndMeForever.pdf