By Bob Bekins —
Growing up mostly in the Southern USA, I was exposed to quite a variety of cultures. One would think that Texas and North Carolina would not be that different, but that would not be correct.
More recently I saw a packaged dinner labeled, Amy’s Texas Veggie Burger. I am not anti-anything when it comes to food, but I thought, “that’s just wrong.” My residences have included both of the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas. Just the way that the word “pecan” is pronounced is one of the indicators. Here are the ways that I have heard: peckn, pea-can, pah-con, and peh-can. It may not seem like much, but as we moved from state to state I quickly learned the local lingo as fast as possible so I would fit in.
Being trained in the nuances of language differentials was apparently only part of my education. How often have you and I wondered about the situations in which we find ourselves? “How did I get into this mess?” Followed quickly by, “What on earth does the Lord want me to learn here?” Let me solve that for you. Greg Laurie says, “Just when you think you are done, God shows you how that last mess prepared you to run your the next lap.” Regardless of your age, from 9 to 90, if you are still here then you are not done yet. Your mission changes, of course, depending on what strength you have, the time available, and the instructions parked in your brain and your heart.
This is one of those realms in which you can think big, really big. After all, you have a partner in the Creator of the Universe. Look what he did with Moses. That little Jewish boy was trained to be the vice-president of Egypt. He was in charge of vast sums of money and had responsibilities that must have included motivating staff and legions. Then when he was 80 years old, God gave him his mission. Who better to lead the Jewish people toward the promised land than this highly-trained man from Pharaoh’s house. Could Moses have predicted any of this? Would he have expected it? Not in the least.
Back to the pecans. Now I must tell you that the pie made from those fine nuts is my all time favorite. Served warm with vanilla ice cream, it is one of the finest foods on the planet. Add a warm cup of coffee to the side and you have achieved perfection. No matter how you pronounce it, the term delicious must complete the sentence. Throughout ALL of the South, this is a universal truth.
The formation of every mission statement must include the key element – God’s participation in the planning. So when you say mission, that tiny seven letter word, you better be thinking along the lines of the pie compared to the little nut that has to be cracked. You may not be able to see where it is all heading, but as you gather the elements for the mission recipe, the Lord will provide every ingredient at the right moment in time. Then the outcome will be a pleasant aroma to God, and you will likely find it tasty as well.