Mission, Mission, and Mate
Familiar with this: “I don’t feel the need for a mate, because I’m doing my mission”? Well, I am, because I already said this line many times.
Because I’m already in my mid-early twenties, the desire for a partner has become stronger compared to the former years. So I resort to pray to God, asking Him to reveal His will and even the woman I will be spending my whole life with. And while I’m praying, I wholly give myself to my mission.
I’m currently serving with the young singles ministry of my church and occasionally volunteering myself to the youth ministry. I preach and teach most of the times for these ministries. I also handle a group of young men, in the hopes of advancing the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). I love what I’m doing, as well as the people I’m serving. And my mission made me forget of my desire for a life partner, and kept me satisfied…but only to a certain point.
There are times (lots of them!) that I feel the emptiness within me. In spite of a fruitful ministry, the desire for a wife keeps coming back, or should I say, haunting me down. I wrestle with this desire when these moments come, and I’m often left emotionally down. “I thought I’m satisfied,” I say to myself. “What’s wrong with me?”
So what’s wrong with me? I’m glad that the Lord made me realize something. It’s really convicting.
It is this: I’ve been unconsciously finding satisfaction in my mission in the hopes of defocusing myself from the desire of a mate, and not in my Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, I have replaced the Master with my mission. (In my church, the phrase Master, Mission, Mate is commonly used. I’m just not sure if this phrase is also used in other churches).
I’m reminded of what Blaise Pascal writes in his Pensees:
There once was in man a true happiness of which now remain to him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present. But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object, that is to say, only by God Himself.1
There is an “infinite abyss” within me in which “in vain [I try] to fill from all [my] surroundings.” I try to fill that “mark and empty trace” with my mission. Now I know that is in vain.
Only God can satisfy me! I’m reminded of these verses:
11You make known to me the path of life; / in your presence there is fullness of joy; / at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
4Delight yourself in the Lord, / and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
Only in Him can I find “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore.” He (and not my mission) alone can satisfy the deepest desires of my heart.
It remains true that my mission is a gift from God and is even instrumental to making me satisfied in Him. But I’m making a resolve not to let it take the place of God. As I wait for my mate, I will ultimately strive to find satisfaction in my Master alone, not in my mission.
1Quoted in John Piper, Desiring God (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2003), 21.
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