I always thought I would know when I was an adult.
It would happen sometime between January of my senior year and the summer months following graduation. I would poke from the ground in the spring and bloom my way through the warmer months. I would call the dentist and make my very own appointment. I would magically know how to do my taxes. I would pay off my student loans in five years or less. I would answer emails properly and work out in the mornings. I would drink more cups of lemon water and guzzle fewer pots of coffee. I would stop sitting in plastic desks and calling that poptart I swallowed in two bites a “meal.” I’d get a crockpot and remember to check my tire pressure.
I looked forward to the day when the bigger adults would count me as one of them. I knew that day wasn’t here yet. Why? Because I’m not an adult! I’ve still got my training wheels on! I still keep not one but TWO teddy bears in my room because gosh darn it they have feelings and I can’t abandon them because that will make them sad. I still hate plain oatmeal because it’s boring and think string cheese is better than regular cheese. I still watch Disney movies when I’m not even babysitting. Heck, I still babysit.
Since I am not an adult, I was relieved to know that for this mission I was co-leading I would be in the hands of the big adults. We had big adult financial backers with big adult administrators handling funds dispersal. We had big adult travel agents and big adult teachers. The big adults would get me to Russia, tell me what to do when I was there, and even would help me get back. They were the movers and shakers. I was the one who got to chill out and fly to Siberia.
But in the past couple weeks the big adults have struggled alongside me rather than drag me along like a toddler on one of those kid leashes. Because guess what? Adults aren’t just the people who have it all together.
After one particular meeting that went incredibly well but left me exhausted, one of the big adults in my life leaned over to me and said something that changed my perspective: “See Kaitlin? The adults won’t always have it together.”
The adults won’t always have it together. My inability to answer emails, vagueness, and general disorganization do not make me a child among adults. Why not? Because adults do that too. Does it mean they aren’t adults? NOPE. Does it mean they’re bad adults? NOPE. Does it mean they’re human beings? YEP.
And here’s the thing: God LOVES human beings. He is calling all of them. He wants the big adults and the little adults. He wants the business executives and the cafeteria workers and the college seniors with too many loans. He wants all of us because at the end of all the missed calls and unanswered emails and miscommunications we are still his children and he wants us to understand the greatness of what we are called to and help out our Daddy.
For the eight of us on this mission team, helping out Daddy is going on mission to Russia. For others it's excelling in your work, it's loving your family, it's serving the Church, it's acts of charity, it's supporting the missions (shameless plug).
I love this quote by St. Josemaría Escrivá on the subject of mission and how it relates to us all:
"Our calling discloses to us the meaning of our existence. It means being convinced, through faith, of the reason for our life on earth. Our life, the present, past and future, acquires a new dimension, a depth we did not perceive before. All happenings and events now fall within their true perspective: we understand where God is leading us, and we feel ourselves borne along by this task entrusted to us." - Christ is Passing By, 45
According to St. Josemaría, we're all on mission and mission is going to change our life! We are so excited that God is calling all of us - little and big adults - to serve Him by serving his people. In his papal encyclical on missions, Pope Saint John Paul II says that "all Christians share responsibility for missionary activity." We are all on mission together as brothers and sisters working together to help out our family - the family of God!
We leave for Magadan in less than a month. As always, we invite you to join us on mission through your prayer and financial support. Thank you for your zeal for this mission and the love you share with us for the people of Magadan.
Kaitlin and the Team