Am I just checking off a box?

In less than three weeks I am leaving on a missions trip to Ethiopia. There are over two hundred individuals from my church, both men and women, who are going to the capital city of Addis Ababa to serve in various ways. While I am not the oldest going, I am definitely amongst the oldest! Many have asked me why now and why this trip. I have asked myself the same question. Do I feel that as a Christian this is a box I need to check?

Is this what we do as followers of Christ—check boxes?

Go to church regularly:  check

Pray daily: check

Serve in ministry: check

Tell someone about Jesus: check

Join a Bible study: check

Read a devotional: check

Go on a mission trip: check


Have I created for myself a master to-do list? These are good things, Christ-honoring things, but am I doing these things out of a sense of obligation or legalism? Perhaps this is why David prayed:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!” Psalm 139:23

If it is not to check a box, then why do we do anything? But Jesus does not want “superficial” followers. He wants us to follow Him because we feel He is worth it. He wants us to follow Him because we love Him. And so I have prayed. I have asked God to search my heart and reveal my motivation. I am now confident in my decision to go to Ethiopia, and I have peace.

Why am I going? Simply, because He asked.

I would love your prayers over the next few weeks. I am going to take a break from this blog to get ready for the trip in both practical ways (one of the things I will be doing is speaking at a women’s conference and therefore need to prepare my talks), as well as spiritual ways. I look forward to sharing about God’s faithfulness surrounding the trip in future blogs. In the mean time I would love for you to join our team in praying!