Fully Present on a Toronto Mission Trip

Our trip leader to Toronto told us that our trip wouldn’t have a specific project or thing we would accomplish, but we would instead be spending our time serving Trinity Life Church and its pastors and families. This made me a little nervous, because I’d never been on a trip like that, but after the first night in Toronto I realized this trip would be very different, but so, so good! We mostly spent time loving people and being loved.

God showed me that while it is important to have specific goals and schedules and checklists, they are not the most important way to measure my purpose or the work He is doing. I rely on all of those things to feel productive and useful, but God does not need any of those things to accomplish his work. On this trip, we (the college students) were rarely aware of what the schedule for the day looked like. Instead, we focused our time on conversations with strangers God pointed out to us, in intentional time together, and on whatever was most helpful to Trinity Life. I learned that even though I might like structure, I have to let that go in order to follow what God is doing.

Recently a friend asked me if this trip changed my life. I had to think about it for a moment, and I realized that this trip hadn’t changed my life in the sense of a big picture. I’m probably not going to move to Toronto next year, but who knows what God has planned. I still don’t like trying new foods that much. I might want to be part of a church plant in the future, but I’m not sure. Instead, the time I spent in Toronto changed how I view and spend the small moments of my life. The focused walking between classes, the meals I often rush through to get to class, the time with close friends sacrificed for time in the library. I now see the value of being fully present in each moment of my life and listening for the voice of God to show me how to better follow Him.