Big Shoes to Fill

As you begin to delve into the wonderful world of etymology you can find some interesting history of the words we use. Take for example the word: missionary. What does the word missionary mean?

Just for fun I thought I would do some investigation about this curious employment that we occupy. At first glace I was humbled and challenged. Some of the sources listed for me the definition followed by examples of people who held the office of missionary. Wow! There are some big names on some of those lists! Therein were found the likes of: David Livingstone, Mother Theresa, and the Apostle Paul. If you know anything about the lives of these individuals then you know at least that sacrifice, suffering and steadfast service in the face of great adversity marked their path throughout their whole life.

Those are some big shoes to fill!

So after I had staggered under the weight of my discovery for a bit there came to me another thought: must I fill those shoes? Just in those three names mentioned there is great diversity in the nature if their mission, purpose and impact. I concluded that it would be ludicrous and down right impossible to expect myself to be just like them.

Then there settled upon me the gentle realization of a truth deeper than that found in online research. There is one example of a person who occupied the missionary office who stands tall above them all. His name is Jesus. He came from a foreign land with the greatest mission of all.

I don’t have to worry about filling his shoes; because actually I already am doing it. Corporately we are the body of Christ. And it just so happens that the bible talks about feet that are beautiful as they take the good news of the gospel to the world. I needn’t fret if I am living up to my station in life. Rather, I need to trust that God has placed me where I am and he is enabling me to fulfill my call.

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One thought on “Big Shoes to Fill

  1. good thoughts, angie. a good reminder to stop trying to live up to some idyllic picture of what a missionary life is supposed to look like. most “missionary greats” didn’t picture themselves as “greats”, had no idea we’d be reading biographies about them, and sought nothing more than to glorify God. my aim should be nothing less.

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