In just over a week, I will leave for Mission Trip with my senior high students. We’ve been given our training packets, we’ve been given our packing lists, and (almost) all the prayer partners have been selected.
Last year’s Senior High Mission Trip was amazing. Truly, deeply inspiring. We all came home from it changed in a profound way, whether those changes took root immediately or they planted seeds that are waiting for the right time to grow. It was a Mission Trip I am certain we will all remember until the day we die. We will talk about it constantly.
And that’s a bit of a problem.
You see, our Mission Trip this year is also with the same organization that led our Mission Trip last year. Even at our meeting for this year, there was a lot of talk of “Well, last year…” Which is good, because it means that we have confidence that this Mission Trip will be a good one. But it’s problematic for a host of other reasons.
The first reason is that I believe strongly that the success of our last Mission Trip was that we had absolutely NO expectations. We were scared, yes, but we were entirely in God’s hands. We had to rely entirely on our faith to reassure us. We had nothing to go on, nothing to compare it to, so it blew us away. This year, we know just what we’re in for, because we’ve done it before. We are prepared. We have something to compare it to, so when it inevitably fails to meet the romanticized memories we have of last year’s trip, it will disappoint. When it blows us away, it will be a matter of course – Why wouldn’t it? It did last year!
Beyond that, we no longer have to rely on our faith for reassurance. We don’t have to depend on God, we rely on the company and on our memories. We can be confident in our trip, because we remember how well it went last year. We can be sure of ourselves, because that company didn’t let us down last year. There’s no need to rely on God. Which is a tragedy. That was such a strength for us last year! We relied on God so heavily that our trip couldn’t fail to fall under His protection and inspiration. I only hope that this year, we can continue to fall on the grace of God to sustain us.
However, we have a brilliantly strong youth group. They are the most godly group of teens I’ve ever met and I am thrilled and honored to get to be a part of their experience. I have faith that this trip will be exactly what each of us needs, so long as we let our hearts and ears be open to God’s plan. Mission Trip 2014, here we come!