By Laura Studee
Last year, about this time, I heard about the Perspectives course being offered at First Free. Right away, I had many reasons for it “not being for me.” First, my husband traveled almost every week. Who was going to watch my kids, or get them home from KidMix every week? Secondly, it sounded like taking the course required a LOT of reading and extra work. How could I take that on when I felt like I struggled even have a regular quiet time? Thirdly, I already knew that “missions” are important. Would I really learn anything that new or important? (I can be pretty pompous, as you can see from these thoughts. Thankfully Jesus forgives these attitudes, too!)
However, I kept feeling God prompting me and bringing up the course in my thoughts and conversations. I became curious what the course was all about, but I still didn’t sign up. In fact, the first Wednesday of the course came and went, and I thought, “Well, that’s it, maybe I will take the course next year.” But that is not what God had in mind.
The day after the first course, I felt God urging me to sign up for the class. I brought up all my objections and tried to go on with my day. Then I heard from friends in the class how amazing and world-view shifting the first day of class was. Still I thought, “I will see about taking the class next year.” The next day, God tugged at me again, and I listened a little more. I decided to look into what the course entailed and saw there was a “key-reading level” that had less reading and no quizzes or homework. “Ok,” I thought. “That is good to know, but I still have the problem of child care. Boo ya!” (I played what I thought was my trump card.)
As you might guess, God did not take that excuse. Over the next few days, I became increasingly convicted of Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moths and vermin destroy, where thieves break in and steal” (NIV). I was holding on to the attitude that I would not sacrifice any money for babysitters to take this class. I wanted that money to use as I wished (I certainly wasn’t going to spend that extra on missions or giving!) But I could not shake the feeling of being called to obedience to use our money for childcare so that I could take the class. I knew what I had to do, so the next Wednesday, I hustled to find a babysitter, a ride home from KidMix for Joshua, and I signed up for Perspectives.
As I began the reading assignments, I was knocked down a few pegs. (Remember my note above that Jesus forgives all that junk. Amen again!) First of all, I realized, I didn’t know as much as I thought I did about how God sees the world, history, and cultures. My mind was blown every single week by how loving, creative, righteous, holy, and powerful God is. How he has been that way through history and today. How he wants ALL to know and have a relationship with Him is still beyond true comprehension. Secondly, I also realized that I don’t need to be a “pioneer” (if you want to know what this term means, take the class), to be useful to God. He gave me a specific role to play in His kingdom and I need to be faithful to that.
So if you are feeling curious, prompted, or intrigued by the Perspectives course, slow down and listen to see if God is asking you to take it as a step of obedience. Try out one of the first two weeks (they are free!). You probably have something to learn and a unique perspective of your own to give as God reveals himself to you.