I have a nasty little habit of making my world feel smaller than it should be. My drive to work is only 5 minutes, so I don’t see much of anyone or anything in the morning. My main source of news is ESPN, which does a horrible job of keeping me connected to current issues. On a Friday night, I prefer to stay at home and play board games with my wife, which is great, but doesn’t expand my circle of friends all that much. In other words, I’ve created a nice little comfort zone that I don’t like to step out of. There is one thing, however, that does take me out of it that I do rather enjoy- travel.

For this past week, my wife and I went to Spokane, Washington so that she could walk and get her Master’s degree from Gonzaga. We had a great time visiting the campus, walking around downtown, and seeing all the sights that the city had to offer. As we were there, I had two moments where I felt like my own little world grew a little bit bigger.

The first was as we were walking down a busy street in Spokane Valley. It was our first day, and we wanted to see the area around our hotel. As we walked, we saw a building that couldn’t be mistaken for anything but a church. Out in the front of the parking lot, prominently placed so that everyone driving by could see it, was a large donation bin for old clothes. I was reminded of some of the clothing and toiletry donations that we do at MPC. As we walked closer to the church, we noticed that it was, in fact, a Presbyterian church.

Later that week, we were driving through one of the neighborhoods in Spokane that wasn’t as well kept as others. As we drove, we looked down a side street and saw a house that had at least 10 police cars outside of it, with more on the way. We weren’t sure what was going on, but none of the other residents seemed to be bothered by it. Perhaps this was routine. We continued on, and in a few blocks we ran into another Presbyterian church, just on the edge of the neighborhood. I realized that this church was actually in the perfect spot- right alongside the people that we are called to advocate for.

Try as I may to shrink my world, being part of the church always brings me back into the reality that I am part of something much bigger than myself. The mission that we have to provide for the needy here is the mission of the church to provide for the needy everywhere. The desire we have to stand with the less fortunate here is the same desire the church has to stand with less fortunate everywhere. That’s a big thing to be connected to, and I’m grateful to be part of a church that calls me to a mission that is greater than myself.