This week I’m on a mission trip with our high school group. We’re spending a few days in inner-city Los Angeles working at a church. Regardless of the trip’s destination, there are a few certainties that always happen on a mission trip.
“It’s A Good Kind of Tired”
Mission trips are full of work and service. The whole point of going on a mission trip is to share the love of Christ through actions and words. Undoubtedly, at the end of the day, someone will utter the sentence: “I’m tired, but it’s a good kind of tired.” I don’t mind this statement except it makes me question my tiredness when I’m not on a mission trip. When I’m tired at home is it a bad kind of tired rooted in selfishness? I don’t know. I do know, though, that a good kind of tired doesn’t necessarily lead to a good night’s sleep on a hard floor in a thin sleeping bag. I don’t really mind my selfish tired when it leads to a good night’s sleep in my comfortable bed.
On every mission trip I’ve ever been on someone ends up dehydrated. Most people don’t drink enough water in their normal lives. When extra work is added on top of that lack of hydration, the result is dehydration. Working with students over the years, my remedy for everything is to drink more water.
“I have a stomach ache.” Drink more water.
“I have a headache.” Drink more water.
“I cut off a finger.” Drink more water.
Water is pure and natural; it seems like the perfect solution for any ailment. Every mission trip should have a designated water boy. Each trip needs its own Bobby Boucher to make sure everyone stays hydrated and stays away from the Gatorade.
At some point the work ends and everyone needs to unwind. As I’ve explained before, Christians have no reason to boast, which is why they depend on competition to prove their worth. Even as I’m typing this, our group is playing some repeating game where they have to remember a string of actions performed by other players. They have been playing for over 90 minutes and they’re still trying to determine the winner. Christians love playing games because they’re a wholesome way to build community and enjoy a little competition. This is especially true on mission trips where Christians like to work hard but also play hard.
Hopefully these aren’t the only things that happen on mission trips. Hopefully those serving learn more about what it means to be a servant and take on the character of Christ. And hopefully those served experience Christ and his love through the actions of others.
How have mission trips impacted your life?