The Best Of Your Youth
Over time I have interacted and worked with missionaries who are serving in different parts of the world. Their stories of how they got to the point of risking everything for the sake of the gospel are interesting ones. All of them have one thing in common, they are following God. And they do it with gladness, with joy, with passion and have no regrets.
I have also met people who are torn in between serving God in missions and pursuing other goals either for family or personal issues. These kinds of people know for certainty what God told them to do but they are not executing it. Fear of the unknown or the feeling of being “not good enough” reigns over the direct command of the Creator. They make up the silent majority. This a risky zone to be in.
And that’s why I will share the story.
Two years ago, I met an old man who was enjoying his retirement by doing a few things here and there. He was our landlord from whom we rented an office space to coordinate missions activities. It was during this time that I got a chance to interact with him, to ask him questions and learn a few things from his wisdom. The man was straight and honest, he used to work for a international conglomerate that has presence in almost every country in the world. He told me of how he has been all over Africa and had a story for every country on the continent. During his days he toured the world and worked for big companies.
Then one afternoon, in the middle of our normal usual conversations, his face suddenly changed, I thought I had said something inappropriate. From his face I could read regrets, dissatisfaction and guilt. The man was very sad and emotional. He explained to me how he regrets not serving God yet he had the chance and resources when he was a youth. How he wished he was young again, He would do a lot more for the Kingdom.
This a man who many would consider having “lived well” because he held a senior position is a big global company, drove good cars, earned a fat salary, owned prime plots of land and a Christian family. He kept postponing the call of God till he retired. I could see the willingness in him to do all the things he had promised God but the man had no strength to do it anymore. His heart was very willing and his body was weak.
After some weeks, he called me to discuss some of his dreams and things he wanted to do. At the moment he is doing something about them but it’s a shadow of what he would have done if he did them many years ago. God can use any man or woman at whatever age to execute His will at any time of His choice for He is the Almighty. If Jesus is worthy, He deserves the best of our lives, He desires “the dew of our youth” (Psalm 110:3).
I fail to understand why people who have clearly heard the call of God to serve Him would use their precious life given to them by God to chase other things and wait till old age then come back to offer Him what remains of it. Matthew 6:33 is still relevant in our days and if we don’t want to shed the tears of regret at old age. We have to heed the call to seek His kingdom first and He is faithful enough to add unto us all other things we need.
My call is to the young people, especially the youth of Africa who have been called to serve the King but have not yet stepped out. This is a call to remind you that Jesus is worthy of our lives. As a young man serving in frontier in misisons myself, I understand the struggles that young people are going through, the confusion of whether to chase their dreams and ambitions and at the same time serve God. When this happens, the statement “you cannot serve two masters” applies and in most cases if not all, what God said is always forgotten and His call to service takes a back seat. I would recommend that if you are still torn in between other things and pursuing God’s call to global mission, follow God wherever He leads you. You will never regret it.
***Peter Kale (not his real name) is a missionary serving among an unreached people group in Northeastern Kenya