By virtue of a mentor-ship relationship I enjoy and a leadership position I am honored to serve, I was sent on a mission to another nation. I must confess that I was very apprehensive of the mission because of the information I have received over time about this nation. However, my mentor ( and i do encourage us to get one) assured me that all will be well. I thank him for that encouragement.
Ideally, all that was required of me on this mission, was to observe and belong – to enjoy the fellowship, and to learn what is happening in the area we visited. However, God always has a bigger plan. Unbeknownst to us, He opened up a smilingly innocent opportunity for me to speak about the justice, law and order sector (JLOS) in Uganda and during which time, He convicted me to ask for forgiveness from the audience for wrongs that had been committed to them or their families and friends. (Dear reader, please note that I had in no way condoned or sanctioned these wrongs but was only guilty by conviction)
I do not know how best to explain what happened in the moments after I listened and acted upon what God had told me to do. The closest i can explain this is that I had a little appreciation of what Christ must have felt when all our sins were upon his shoulders. This is because i experienced a deep sense of overwhelming regret, remorse, pain, guilt, etc which was followed shortly thereafter by a relief that only a forgiven soul would experience. My heart grew lighter after that moment as though a huge burden (that I didn’t know existed), was lifted off my shoulders. I felt genuine forgiveness, reconciliation and wholeness in my soul. One person who didn’t want to talk to me by virtue of my identity reached out to me in a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness (although, as I write this, I am reminded of one particular gentleman who I think continued to struggle and I pray he gets healing). Interestingly, i also noticed that once that was done, the Spirit of God convicted me that my talk was now over. Anything i said thereafter about JLOS was clearly unnecessary. My mission -as i had accepted it 007 style- was over.
Through the remainder of our time there, genuine friendships were created, real conversations were made, contacts were exchanged etc. I also got another opportunity to talk to a group of youth who were passionate about leadership just as i was. I also noticed that my former apprehension nolonger existed. There was a peace about me that surpassed all understanding. I could sense from my hosts that the spirit in this mission changed totally.
The lesson for me was to listen to the Spirit of God when He sends me out. There is often a greater purpose than the one we think we are supposed to fulfill.
Question is - Are we able to listen?