Sunday, October 14, 2007

World-Changer or Roadmaker?

I don't really think of myself as a "world-changer," per se. But Breakaway magazine has an article I wrote in April 2007 about taking the Gospel to a remote area in Southeast Asia featured on one of their web pages under the heading, "Meet the World-Changers, guys who are making their marks on the world as counterculture Christians."

The "world-changer" moniker is interesting because it reminds me of the name our eight-man team adopted in the days leading up to the trip mentioned in the article (which has been written on extensively on this blog. Begin the trip narrative here). I'm not sure who coined the phrase, but we called ourselves the Roadmakers, because as far as we knew, there were very few Americans who were trying to pave the way to God for the Buddhist residents of this remote region.

I think both of these names misrepresent our role in the great spiritual drama unfolding in that region. Yes, I do believe that our prayers can change the spiritual climate of the region, and I do think that our efforts will eventually be stones among those lining this people group's path toward Christ. But to say that we were doing the paving is to misunderstand the role of short-term missions.

We are a piece of the puzzle, one of the many grains of sand swirling down through the hourglass. God was already working in the region long before we showed up, and he will continue that work until he brings it to completion. Although there's a certain Romantic allure to being a trailblazer, and there's a definite God-birthed desire within me go places outside people's normal frame of thought, the credit is due the One who not only makes the road, but called himself The Way. He who made the world is the only one who can change it.

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