Yesterday I met up with two people who have left friends and a known way of working to take up a new challenge.
In the morning it was great to catch up with Luella whom YFC and the Warham Trust have appointed to develop a Basingstoke YFC. (If you live in the area and want to help - why not get in touch with Luella). Luella has a dream for the centre and I believe this will develop pretty quickly.
In the evening I attended the induction of Jim Findlay as priest in charge of St. Mark's Salisbury. This was a great occasion and a case of another, very different person, who has a dream and another person who will see his dream fulfilled.
While driving home from Salisbury last night I reflected upon my day and realised that Luella and Jim are very different - a young female YFC worker and an ageing married Anglican priest. And yet ... they are united in that they realise the call to mission and minsisty involves sacrifice.
Yes, mission is exciting, a privilege, a great buzz - but there is a cost, there is a burden to bear which we do not talk about enough. In our society where people are out to get what they can as quickly as they can, the language of sacrifice is unpopular. The pain of leaving friends, of isolation, of being misunderstood, of responding to peoples hidden and sometimes subconscious agendas all take their toll and cause anguish, heartache and questioning.
Two people, leaving loved ones, places they have called home, to walk into the unknown, where they have to start again, prove themselves and cry out to God for guidance. They are not alone, as there are many others in Christian ministry both past and present who have or are walking the road they are walking.
Is this what Jesus meant when he spoke of taking up our cross to follow him? I think it may be part of the answer!