Team Journal / Words from Kevin
Today one of our staff members, Kevin, is sharing about his experience in moving to Romania and how the process, both external & internal, brought him to re-examine things and draw closer to the Holy Spirit.
For my initial blog post I thought I would start with some personal experience and insight. I’ve had a busy and interesting nine months. I moved to Târgu Mureș, România in August to help re-pioneer this base, lost my older brother in October so I flew back to the States for a couple of weeks, then in January I went to Latvia to attend a School of Biblical Christian Worldview (SBCW) for three months, was in Romania for only two weeks and then off to the States again for a month. I may have another short excursion and then I should be planted for a while.
Each of these events was significant even if I did sail rather smoothly through them. Moving is always a big deal. As we prepare to move, we sort through our possessions to find what is really valuable, what we want to take with us. It can be a time of assessment. It is particularly critical when moving overseas, as shipping is expensive and things aren’t always easily replaced.
As a single man with a few years in missions, I didn’t have a lot of stuff to sort through. For me, the primary concern dealt with what books and teaching materials to take. One of my hobbies, at least in the States, is to visit thrift shops and second-hand bookstores to find cheap books, and I often end up with more books than I can reasonably read. But the recent move forced me to make some choices. Not every book was “top shelf.”
At various times in life we come to crossroads or face difficult decisions that push us to reexamine our values and reorganize our priorities. Certain of our beliefs and convictions were formed early and have stood the test of time and these will accompany us for the rest of our lives. Others were formed just as early, but through study and maturity have outgrown their usefulness. I think of Paul’s statement in I Cor. 13 when he spoke of thinking and acting as a child when he was a child, but he put those away as he became a man. As we grow older our perspective changes. Some of the things we fiercely defended as young believers may now seem a bit silly, or at least not worth the energy we spent on them.
Just as I had to sort through my collection of books, I’ve had to look at my life as well. Over the years my trust in our heavenly Papa has increased, and my conviction that He is indeed sovereign over all His creation has brought me into more rest in my life. I am deeply convinced that He has not deviated from His purposes from before the creation of the world, and that He is not threatened nor shaken by what transpires here on earth. This allows me to hold things, both material and spiritual, rather loosely. Not, of course, the solid foundations of our faith.
What I mean is, my faith has shifted away from me and is more concretely fixed upon our God and who He is. My peace and rest do not depend on me holding in perfect balance all the correct doctrines or positions that various groups insist upon. It is more important to me to be teachable. Where I am incorrect or inconsistent in what I profess, I trust the Holy Spirit of Truth to lead me to where I need to be. By trusting in the goodness and faithfulness of Papa I am able to submit to His discipline, knowing He will finish the work He has begun in me.
My primary focus now is to press by faith toward attaining that glorious high calling of God, growing into the fullest, most mature expression of the life of Christ that Papa has deposited into me. More on that later.