Friday, September 24, 2010

A Wild, Romantic Undertaking

So, I am reading this book called "To the Golden Shore," a biography of Adoniram Judson. It's an intense 500 pages, but I would recommend it. He was one of the first missionaries sent out of America back in the 1700s. There is a lot of rich theology and interesting perspectives to be had in this book, and if I could quote the whole thing, surely that would happen, but lets not get crazy. 

I briefly wanted to share a letter that Adoniram Judson wrote to the father of a woman he is interested in, asking him for permission and favor regarding their hopeful relationship. Mind you, this is before Judson has left to go to Burma and in consideration of all the hardships that will be. The title of the chapter is "A Wild, Romantic Undertaking," and I thought it would be fitting. Read on.
"I have to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and he subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want a distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him to left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?" (pg 83)

Dang son. "To see her no more in this world."

This brings tears to my eyes as I think about the outlook Judson has about life, and how often I might not think this way, but hold onto this life like it's all I have. I love my family, I love my friends and my church, and there is nothing wrong with that. But to choose to see them no more in this world? This world is nothing compared to the next, and any sacrifice to share this news- it is worth it. Even if we arent personally considering overseas missions work, it is still a world view to be challenged by. How are we living this out? 

Im not typically a fan of taking one little verse out of its context, but I think Colossians 3:2, and its surrounding context really fit into this post. The whole chapter three is basically defined by verse two:

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." 

I love how it goes on to say that we live this way by loving and forgiving. Missions work, or really any true, daily Christian living is nothing close to a romanticized picture, but it is indeed a wild undertaking, a worthwhile, wild undertaking that has to do with a love like no other. 

What do you think?


Michael and Karen McDonald said...

Judson is a hero of mine. I read the book years ago. Glad to see that you are enjoying it.

Amy said...

Personally reading this, too. This letter really challenged me. As you read you'll come to a New Year's letter that was written that really challenged my thinking and priorities as well. Great read!!

WanderingAlissa said...

It is such a great read! thanks for the comments guys!