For several years now I have had this burning question within me. It developed slowly over time from my experiences and reached a crescendo when I came to Ghana the first time. The question is "What will I do?" "What will I do to address the evil, the suffering, the injustice, the poverty of this world?" It is the question that brought me here to teach.
This last weekend I read the book "Holy Discontent." It spoke of each individual as having their own "holy discontent" about a particular issue. When you reach a point where you can't stand a particular injustice/need anymore and have to do something about it yourself. For some it is the field of medicine, for some dying churches, for some women's rights, for some domestic violence, for some racial discrimination.... There are many issues/injustices that get me fired up: gender inequalities, racial discrimination, child abuse, child slaves, prostitution, churches that can't see across denominational lines, (my roomates would even say recycling) all these issues just make me ache (or get angry). Unfortunately I cannot fix them all. God has given me a heart for children who need love and education, and I am determined that I need to be doing something about it.
Over the past few years I became discontent with the thought of living a life centered on my personal comfort and success. I simply cannot go through life living it for no other purpose than to live happily and comfortably. (I still have much selfishness to get rid of) I have wrestled for some time now with the "now what" that happens when you know that your life has to change. I am here teaching orphans and children in a developing country because I can't stand the thought of them going without learning to read, or being loved. I KNOW this is where God has lead me at this time in my life. Not to say that I don't have to remind myself at times of my purpose here, sometimes I get carried away just going through the motions. But I know that this is the first step in doing something with my God given burning for the needs of children.
The question hasn't gone away though. Its not enough. It doesn't stop here. I am here in Africa teaching/tutoring/loving kids, but there are so many more who suffer. I have been told by some that being here is enough. I disagree. Even while I am here I am trying to make sure that I am using my time well, there are so many more who have needs. This question doesn't just go away now that I am here. It fact it increases the intensity of it. Because I see the poverty and hardships of so many first hand. It is not as if I can "put in my time" here and call it quits, go back to a "normal" life. I have felt for some time there is something I am supposed to be doing with my life, some way in which I am supposed to be addressing some of the injustices of our world. I was discussing this with mom and Brittany last summer, I have this sense that I need to be taking some sort of iniative, spending my life in a way that makes the world better (if only for a few children). I am just not sure what that looks like yet. I get frustrated with myself sometimes, trying to figure out what more I can be doing.
I admire those who see a need and go for it, start a program/a non-profit/an organization that aims to eradicate an issue of injustice/poverty. I have this sense that there is more for me. I am pray that God will continue to develop my "Holy Discontent" (if you will) that I may see how best to use my life to make the lives of others better. Whether I stay here, or whether he leads me somewhere else the I hope question will continue burning. The minute I become satisfied in thinking I have done my part, I have missed the point entirely. I don't think God called us to live comfortable lives. News of genocides, racial riots, starving children, human trafficking, gender inequality, it should always bother us. May we never hear of them and think, oh that's horrible, and then forget it move on. I am so thankful that I am able to play some small role with these children here, and pray that it will continue to feed my discontent and develop my vision for my future. May I never be satisified.