Monday, September 15, 2008

Those Christian Missionary Daredevils

This last week Olivia and I had the opportunity to do a little shopping at a half-price book store. Liv needed a cookbook as well as a couple other books to take to the Ukraine so we went shopping. On our way out Liv spotted a book that I wanted to add to my library, it is called "The Daredevil's Manual" by Ben Ikenson. By the title I could tell this was a marvelous book that would make a giant contribution to my library and even add a little (more) excitement to our marriage and also our ministry in Ukraine. It is obvious that I could not pass up this amazing resource. Just imagine the wonderful outreach I could do while balancing a running lawnmower on my chin in a city square! I couldn't not buy it!

As I took this treasure home to read and study I came across something that was very amusing to me and I wanted to share it with you. I know (because I have heard comments) that some people are shocked that I am going into missions. Most of those people are shocked because they know some of the life experiences I have had. Not the bad life experiences, but the seemingly reckless and crazy life experiences, the adventures I have been on, and the dangerous situations I have put myself into. How could I, who enjoys a touch of adrenaline, go to the mission field?

I guess that is a valid question. I mean, what is a person like me going to do? The mission field is obviously a place where boredom is prevalent, the uneventful is consistent, the commonplace is commonplace, where life is normal, and nothing exciting ever happens... Not from what I understand. I'm thinking that a little bit of the daredevil mindset has to be present in the heart of every missionary.

In the introduction to this book it explains how the daredevils have been around for ages. They are the men and women who do things which amaze and awe the crowds, how they dare to go to the edge and teeter over to what seems the impossible. To many, it is a liberation as they break the restraints of the physical and cross over into the "spiritual".
"Part showman, part shaman, the daredevil is as old as the devil himself. Many of the exploits featured in this book originate in ancient India and the Middle East, where elite spiritualists performed mind-boggling feats that spoke to the strength of the Human will and a seemingly supernatural mental acumen. Some of the oldest stunts include sword swallowing, walking over hot coals, hammering nails into one's own face, incredible displays that are still performed today.
The modern descendants of these early spiritualists are today's biker babes and madmen motorcyclists, brick-breaking and karate chopping Christian missionaries, knife chucking reverends, ...
" (The Daredevil's Manual, pg. 12)
That's right, according to this manual, modern day missionaries are our daredevil's. Along with other slightly crazy people, they are the ones who venture to the edge of what is comfortable, what is normal, and teeter over the edge to what may seemingly be impossible. Through their courage and daring nature, people are awed and in wonder at the amazing feats and accomplishments.

To become a missionary, to do something of this magnitude, to pursue a life with this stress and pressure, "daring" is a pre-requisite. Some may call us foolish, some may call us crazy, but to them I would quote my sister-in-law and say "Of course I'm crazy, I'm a missionary!"

"We are daredevils of Christ" - 2 David 5:20a

10 comments:

Mike and Lucy said...

I liked the verse reference at the bottom. I was wondering what First David has to say about life?!
I love you both and can't wait to see you in October!!!
~Luc

Kristi Miller said...

dude, that seems like the coolest book ever! Our team needs some daring things to do here in NZ. I have to say i'm slightly jealous, but I did jump off a bridge in the middle of winter with your brother. It gave me a rush and now i'm ready to go bungi jumping!!!

David and Olivia said...

That's my husband for you! Our life will never have a dull moment! :) - LIV

Timbra said...

okay, so the "kristi miller" comment threw me for a loop because the kristi miller i know, who spells her name exactly the same way, lives in santa barbara. . ha!!! anyway, this was a fun post. there is something known as "the daredevil gene" to get more info, you'd have to read gavin debecker's "the gift of fear" i saw on facebook that liv said david had been waiting all day for someone to comment on this post, but i JUST got it by email, and i never check your blog until i get the notice by email that you've posted, so i guess the email was about 8 hours delayed. you go you reckless missionaries!!!

Brooke said...

So i came here just because i didnt want David to feel disheartened!
hope all is good ... xox

missioncambodia said...

You awlays inspire me to smile!!! BTW, it was the adventurer in us that a friend said would make missions the right ministry for us. Others are catching on...

Ashtin Hoskins said...

Awesome post! I love reading books about stuff like that! I came across a book here in NZ called JESUS MEAN AND WILD. I gotta read that! And like books on martyrs and stuff....sweet as. Isn't it funny to think that Jesus was like the Evil Knievel of His time! What He did was like one of the most daring things in his time! Mean!!!! From now on, my Jesus totally wears biker leathers! ;) Love you guys!

Nancy said...

David,
I just got this post today. What can I say other than, "That's our boy!" :)

Lindsay White said...

I don't know how I feel about Ashtin's Jesus.. haha! David, you my friend are exactly right in what you are saying. I really believe we are called out.. set apart and you have got to be a little gutsy to get that done! As for being crazy.. if you aren't a little batty before heading to the field you sure will be before long! I take Paul's perspective on it.. to the crazy we become crazy! Keep daring to dream and standing out for Him. I agree with Ashtin, Jesus was a risk taker and so we must be also. Love you guys!

M Chase said...

Good stuff David. I really enjoy reading your blog and only wish we had more time to get to know each other. I'd like to hear about some of those wild and crazy things you've done! I look forward to reading more.

-M. Chase