I treasure the time I spend in my car, not because I love my car, but because my vehicle is one of the few places where I am usually alone with my thoughts. And after I dropped my son off at his Milwaukee apartment earlier today, I was able to be alone with my thoughts for the whole ride back to my residence.
During the ride, I focused on a comment I overheard someone make a while back. What I heard really struck a chord with me at the time. In fact, the comment made me wonder whether or not I had made the right decision to go on my upcoming mission trip. You see, the exact comment was, “I could never go on a mission trip. I don’t know enough,” and I can only guess that the speaker was referencing his or her amount of bible knowledge when making the comment.
Well, if my assumption about the comment’s context is correct, then I guess I might be in deep trouble because I don’t think I know enough, either. I mean, the bible is a pretty big book, after all. And more than that, it’s the written word inspired by God. The bible is a popular book, too, and is so regularly on the bestselling lists that publishers tend to avoid mentioning its position on their lists anymore. It’s simply a given that it’s on these lists and everybody knows it.
As I drove home, I confirmed my belief that for all of the reasons mentioned above and many others, no one will ever know enough about the bible. I know that even if I studied the bible for one million years, I would still be unable to claim that I knew enough about the text because, in my mind, that is the same as saying that I know “enough” about God, which I don’t and never will. At least not in this lifetime.
In retrospect, I wish I’d said something to the people engaged in the conversation I overheard. I wish I had admitted to them that I, like them, don’t know enough either. I wish I had told them that despite my failure to know “enough,” I was still going on a mission trip this summer. I wish I had told them that the only requirement for a believer to go on a mission trip is that the person have a willing heart.
In the Great Commission, God calls on all of us to go, to be missionaries for Him. He does not include a job description in the Great Commission that mandates that we accumulate vast amounts of knowledge before we serve Him. He does not pick His missionaries from a special group of well-educated individuals who are expertly versed in the bible. God calls on all of us regardless of our familiarity with the bible.
If I ever hear someone make a comment similar to the one that recently piqued my interest, I’ll have something to discuss with the speaker. Now I’m curious about what else I may hear about missionaries and/or mission trips before I depart to do God’s work in Russia…