So...sorry for the long lead in. I wanted to share this thought. It's a gem...and also puts words to why it is difficult for people like James and me to come back to the States for an extended period of time, much as we love everyone here. While we understand why we are here, and God has blessed us richly while we have been here in a multitude of ways, AND God has been gracious to allow us to minister to people here, we are still away from what we have been called to do - to reach Chinese people with the good news of the Gospel. That's hard. And it should be.
"We were made to live with no less a drama than the spread of God's eternal reign. We need adventure. We need purpose. We need the adrenaline of stepping out of our comfort zones for a purpose higher than our own well-being. We need all of that, desperately, and we need it to matter for eternity, not just for a moment or for our bank accounts, our pleasure, or our reputations...Nothing else can substitute for kingdom life, because that's how God created us."
Gary Thomas, A Lifelong Love
Okay, yes, this is in a marriage book - a great one. He goes on to say (just in case you wanted a random, unexpected, kick-in-the-pants reminder about your marriage...)
"In Christian circles, we do a disservice if we try to "fix" marriages without first proclaiming the necessity of fixing our lives on this magnificent obsession, the kingdom of God. I have no desire to offer five steps on how to be a little less miserable in your marriage as you live a substandard, selfish life that isn't set on the spread of God's work."