Okay. The creative angst is too strong, I have to take another break from studying. While
studying eavesdropping at ABC, I learned of the work of Greg Mortenson, a mountain climber that nearly lost his life scaling K2. He vowed to build schools for the indigent children of Pakistan, and has sold everything to make good on his promise.
I hate missions as I have always known them. In my Baptist church, missions meant sticking tracks on urinals (if you don’t understand this, don’t worry imagine someone placing information they deem to be the most important information they could share 8 inches above where your piss hits the ceramic). Then in the 90s with the advent of the super-church, missions analogized to the Wal-Mart approach to Christianity–not gaining new parishioners just converting all of the others to your super-church. YUCK! Basically I rest in the sovereignty of God and have not understood the need for missions. Partially because of my own misunderstanding.
Hearing this story about Mortenson, I actually felt a deep stirring. I could actually do something to richly help the lives of others without the quid pro quo gospel that I have heard all my life–I lead you to Christ, and you come to my church-notch (again YUCK). What if building schools in Mexico and working to create infrastructure helped to allay some of the concerns about immigration in this country. I sense a current of empowerment and innovation in the world. The cold war era bespoke fear and control, and the post-modern, post-coldwar, post-911 era speaks more about empowerment. If we want to fight terrorism, educate the future terrorists–this is of course the same method that first created terrorists as we know them. If we fear the largest growing segment of the American demographic we educate them and empower them–give the Mexican population infrastructure and desire to stay in Mexico.
In my short lived Tai-Chi stint, I learned about the notion of flow. When someone pushes you, the natural reaction is to buck up and resist, but the tai-chi method is to give. This puts the pusher in a vulnerable position and the weak one in the position of strength (through weakness). Paradoxical? Funny how that seems the way of the cross. Christ was always weak. When given the choice he consistently chose weakness. In tai-chi this begins to look like a dance: the aggressor pushes, the defender retreats.
In my favorite book, Seven Habits, Stephen Covey talks about the “win-win” situation. Empowerment typically is a win for people. Empowerment gives people a voice and a choice. Currently, the choice for many Mexican workers is to come to the great America to make a lot of money to send home. The alternative is to stay in Mexico and make only a fraction of the earnings they can make in America. Building schools and infrastructure in Mexico empowers the people of Mexico to have a choice whether to immigrate to America or stay in Mexico and work.
I am in my last weeks of Law School. I am preparing to take the bar this summer, and then I will probably never practice law. Maybe. I have decided to go into real estate and pursue more “business” ventures than law ventures. For some time, I have been exclusively devoting thought on acquisition and success, but this hollow and ultimately meaningless goal has never felt right. Today, for the first time in my life, I have asked the question: Is it possible that I could be a missionary? Could I spread “good news” (you can bet your ass I would not be spreading Dogma). I just really feel inspired as if a breath of fresh air has been breathed into me, or maybe it is just the comfort in knowing that I have not been studying for the last hour.
I would be glad to hear anyone’s comments.