Lately people at my placement at Central Methodist University have been asking me where I am spending the summer. My response is always the same: here.
That is not completely true. I will be going on vacation and attending some training events and seminars, but mostly I will be in Fayette, Missouri.
In this placement, summer is vacation time. The students are gone, and so are most of the faculty and staff. What does this mean for me? I’m a missionary; I go where I am sent. But what if there is no one where I am sent?
My response in true Type-A fashion is to keep working. I am trying to plan for next year so that when people do arrive in the fall, we have programs an events all ready to go.
But it recently occurred to me that this is not what summer is about. I arrived at my placement about 2 months ago, and I feel like I have done so little since I got here. But I am reminded upon reflection that my mission is not just to do but also to be present with. I have gotten to know many wonderful students who I can’t wait to keep working with in the year to come. I have gotten to know faculty and staff who have shown me the ropes at CMU. And I have gotten to know the community of Fayette, which has a different rhythm all its own.
So while I am “here” this summer, I will not feel useless and alone. Instead I will take the opportunity to enjoy the slower pace and learn more about myself and God. Instead of constantly brainstorming I will take my time to pray and do devotions. I might read a book instead of planning out every minute. Because God knows something will come up and I will have to change my plans anyway.Proverbs 16:3 has really hit home for me: “Commit to The Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
So this summer I will keep planning, but I will also make sure I am committing to God.