“You suck. You suck. You suck,” hammered my thoughts as I stood in front of a class that did not want to talk. We were talking about Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.
I appreciated that Rubin talked about how money contributes to happiness, a common-sense slant that people often forget. While they sat, silent, I remembered a missionary talk I’d heard back in the 70s. Tom Little was a local optometrist called to work in Afghanistan.
Back then, people were big on how many people you lead to the Lord. Our youth group leader said you weren’t a Christian unless you’d brought someone to Jesus. We were supposed to gather souls like notches on our belt. I was heartbroken because I wasn’t so good at convincing people to follow Jesus. A friend said I made Christianity look too miserable to convince her.
I remembered Tom because he’d recently been killed by roadside bandits. He’d served the Afghani people through the Russian, Taliban and American occupations. If he could keep doing this work of helping people see better, then I could keep pushing my students to think, to write, to talk despite their disinterest.
Little told us there wasn’t much hope the people he was ministering to would become Christians, but his work was still good work, work that he was called to do. He said it’s more important to be faithful, to do the work, than it is to be successful.
I’m Katie Andraski, and that’s my perspective.