Do the Five Marks of Mission feel overwhelming, rather like a big to-do list? Just “say your prayers,” Br. John Braught recommends, because the mission is God’s, not ours, and God will reveal to you how and who you are to serve – often in very small ways that arrive throughout the day.
Transcript: When it comes to mission, the first thing I would tell someone is, “Say your prayers.” For a lot of people the word “mission” can be rather overwhelming, and as we talk about the five Marks of Mission – abbreviated as tell, teach, tend, transform, and treasure – it can all become like some giant to-do list, as in one might respond, “I can’t do this. I’m not qualified or I don’t have enough time.” To which we would reply, “You’re right. See every other servant God has called for these and similar objections.” The point is it’s God’s mission, not ours, and God will show us how we are to serve, and who we are to serve. So say your prayers. Each day pray for opportunities to serve. Ask, “God, show me how I can be helpful this day and keep alert.” I usually add, “And please make it crystal clear, otherwise I’m liable to miss it. I’m sometimes not that quick.”
There is a saying in the Eastern tradition that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. But the reverse is true as well. When the teacher is ready, the student will appear. So pray for ways to serve, pray for opportunities to serve, and stay alert. Our mission will not often be grand. It’s the little things, the small ways that we serve, a smile, a handshake, a hug, being kind to someone in customer service, especially when things aren’t going our way. Each and every day we’re acting as ambassadors of Christ, and we should imagine that we’re wearing that kind of nametag on our chest, so that people come away from interacting with us feeling better, hopeful, like there is kindness, and goodness, and love in the world. That’s our real vocation. That’s what we are called to be and to do. But in order to know what to do, and to have the power to carry that out, we’ll need God’s help, so say your prayers.
How, in small ways, could you carry out God’s mission today?
– Br. John Braught
Question: How, in small ways, could you carry out God’s Mission today?
Slowly writing out our words of love for another person can be a meditative practice that connects us in a deep way. This week, spend some time hand-writing a letter to God. What would you say? How might you express your love for God in words?