The “Getting There” Syndrome

In a recent post entitled, Purpose and Momentum, I quoted a short story. In the story the man refers to an article that he was given. I was thinking that it would be interesting to read that article and then I remembered…we are living in the day and age of the internet.

I googled the name of the article and the guy who wrote it and magically I found what I was looking for (at least I think it is). If you are interested you can read it here: “I was Never Called

I like the emphasis that he puts on a man’s call to work over his call to a location. He doesn’t deny that the Lord directs where we should use our gifts but does make sure the call is a call to work.

I think this is important to emphasize as well because of its implications. There is a problem in missions today that I call the “getting there” syndrome. Many who feel a strong call to a place think that they are doing right by simply moving and existing in that place. The goal isn’t the work or preparation for the work but just “getting there.” It becomes the all-encompassing goal as if something magical will happen when they arrive. Then they arrive and nothing changes or happens. Now they move to the survival stage. They must survive in the place of their calling to fulfill their call.

The mentality is they are in God’s will because they are in the right location, so as long as they can hold on or endure in that specific place then they are doing right. This is a problem.

It is said of missionaries all over the world that they move to other countries and don’t do anything.

The call to ministry says I am going to do ministry no matter where I am (but I will go as the Lord leads and guides).

I see this to be true in my life. I surrendered to go to China as a missionary but then went to Peru, South America for six months and then spent 3 years working at a Church in the USA for training purposes. Even though I wasn’t in China at the time, I loved it because I was involved in ministry.

Of course I still had a desire to come to China and I am here now, but the whole point is that I was fulfilling my call to ministry and as those necessary gifts were being developed my path started moving towards the location that I would be serving in full-time.

If it wasn’t for my mentors teaching me this early on, I would of been one, most likely, that is living in China just surviving.

Question:
What do you think of the article mentioned and the “getting there” syndrome?

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