I just graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, and now it’s only a couple of weeks until I start training to be a Catholic missionary next year. As it gets closer, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my goals are as missionary. Just like anything else, if we aren’t goal oriented, we often lose track of our purpose and waste time. Now as for specific goals, I have an idea from my experience as a student leader active in ministry, but I’ll be waiting until training for more clarity on that. Specifics aside, I have a good idea of general goals, so here’s what I’m thinking:
Ultimately I’d like, by God’s grace, to be able to introduce friends that I’ll meet to Jesus and show them how to live in relationship with Him, learning to put Him more in the center of our lives every day. Only Jesus can redeem us, so it is essential that I share the importance of personal conversion, baptism, and an active life as a member of Jesus’ Church in relationship with God.
I know firsthand that our lives are a lot more depressing without Jesus. When times were tough in my youth, in junior high and early high school, I would often either try to get away from and forget about difficult things by playing hours and hours of video games. I would strictly have worldly goals like being popular, getting to date all the “hot” girls, and being really rich. These are not necessarily bad things, but if they are all that we are clinging to, there isn’t much substance there. In the end, they become idols that replace God. I wanted these things because I wanted to be loved and to be happy. But with Jesus, we are always loved, we always have hope and happiness- yes even in the most difficult moments!, and God gives us all of the strength that we need.
By living in relationship with God, we can have our deepest desires met. At the backbone of everything that we want is the desire for God. I think about this so much and I’ve realized that nothing in this world could satisfy me other than God. I cherish being able to just stop whatever I’m doing and speak with God and share what’s on my heart with Him and His promises comfort me. Have you ever experienced this too? The best times are often during deep prayer in adoration.
Keeping Christ at the center helps us to put the most important things first in our lives. Ultimately there are things that will distract us from true happiness and blessedness in living as God’s children. We can avoid these things by maintaining a daily prayer life, studying the scriptures, and frequenting the sacraments.
Our hope must be in Jesus alone, since He is our only “way” to the Father. He bridged the gap between God and man after we had severed it through our sin. Placing our hope in someone or something else is foolish since only God lasts.
Jesus offered us a new chance by coming to us (God seeks us!) and offering Himself as a sacrifice for us all at Calvary. Now, by dying to ourselves and being reborn in Jesus through baptism we can be saved too (1 Peter 3:21). He invites us to become a part of His Church (Matthew 16:18-19, Matthew 28:19-20), participating in the same sacraments that He instituted for us 2000 years ago. It’s a daily struggle but this is how we can go forward with Christ in our eternal walk of life.
So that’s the general plan. Please pray for me, I’ll need it