By Roger Kruse
Our trip back home from India was a long one! Glenda and I left Chennai around 11a.m. on Friday. Forty-six hours later we stepped through our back door. With a necessary, but unwanted detour through Frankfurt, Germany, we found ourselves in the same airplane for over 18 hours. After finally getting to Newark, we logged another nine hours waiting for a short one- hour flight to Cleveland. “Is it worth it?” is the kind of question I sometimes ask myself as I have traveled back and forth to India the past 10 years. After all, it’s hot, noisy, the food is too spicy for me, and the multiplied days of travel with jet lag are about to wear me out! Besides, I like my home here in Middlefield. Can’t I just stay put and let somebody a bit younger get the job done? After about 30 trips to India, haven’t I earned a rest?
No matter what we do, we all have moments when we grow weary of doing the same thing over and over. A stay-at-home mom doesn’t always relish her daily duties, many of which often go unappreciated. A woman who works outside the home still comes home to a plethora of household jobs that must get done. Working men and women often find themselves embracing a work routine that requires a monotonous daily regimen of discipline and endurance, not to mention a tolerance with certain annoying co-workers. How about our kids? Is going to school really something they look forward to everyday? Can the classroom be so compelling that they just can’t wait to get back on a Monday morning? Do you suppose the wacky world of teenage drama every day gets stressful? What about seniors? More discretionary time doesn’t always equate with exciting, purpose filled days. Health challenges often wear you down and just keep intruding, despite having never been invited into your life.
Ok, I get it. Life isn’t always easy. We all need good reasons to keep us tracking as we press forward with our lives. In other words, it helps to have a rationale for what we do! It makes sense to determine what I am living my life for and what goals will help me achieve my purposes. Without knowing the “why?” of our lives, it becomes difficult to maintain the “what?”
For a Christ-follower, obedience to Jesus is really important. After all, He did say, “When you obey my commands, you remain in my love.” and “You are my friends if you do what I command.” For example, loving and forgiving people are not simply “options” a disciple of Jesus can choose to do or not to do. Even helping to get the Good News to the less reached of our world is essential. Jesus said “Go and make disciples of all nations.” His last words on earth have become my life-calling and marching orders. I experience a deep abiding joy when I find myself in a remote village sharing stories of Christ’s transforming love. To hear the heart-warming ministry narratives of Indian co-workers I have helped to train makes all my efforts worthwhile.
The things that make life meaningful are the people we touch. Learning to invest ourselves in others can give our everyday lives real meaning. It helps tremendously to step back and give yourself reasons for what you do. Maintaining a purpose-filled perspective on your life can infuse motivation and supply perseverance for the long haul. Whatever you do, if you do it for the right reasons, it matters. In wisdom, God created and prepared each of us to do the good things he planned for us long ago (Ephesians 2:10).
Roger Kruse finds joy and purpose in fulfilling his calling to do ministry in India. However, each of us would be wise to seek an understanding of our unique personal design and just how God can use us. Jesus helps us to discern His will and working in our lives.