Not everyone is called to go

On November 25, 2011, I was checking in for my flight. It was my first ever short-term mission trip, and I was headed to Guatemala.
"Mr. Sisneros, it looks like you've been upgraded to first class."
I was confused. "What? What does that mean?"
She looked as confused as I was. "If you accept, I'll move you from your seat in the main cabin up to first class."

"I accept!"
The crazy thing is, I rarely fly. Once or twice a year at most. There's no reason I should have been upgraded. What would you do???
I was called to board the plane and found my massive leather seat. It was scary! I expected someone to kick me back to row 28 at any minute.
As the rest of the team from our church boarded, they all looked at me in shame. As if to say, "This is a mission trip to help the poor... and you're in first class?" No one actually said it, but they were all thinking it.
The flight attendant had a silver tray with what looked like small, steaming hot burritos. She put a small white plate out, gently lifted one of the burritos with a pair of tongs, and set it in front of me.
It wasn't a burrito. I didn't touch it. I would later find out that it was a hot napkin to wipe my hands before they brought the meal out.
"Would you like chicken or beef?"
I knew I wouldn't be able to afford it, so I just said, "I'm not feeling very hungry. Thank you." And just like that, she took my burrito napkin away.
"What can I get you to drink?"
Again, NO IDEA what a bottle of water costs in first class. "I'm fine. Thank you."
Everyone around me clearly belonged there because they were eating and drinking like everything was paid for!
I was sitting in the most comfortable seat I've ever been in, and I couldn't have been more uncomfortable.
Until we landed, I continued to wait for someone to tell me I had to go back with the commoners.
When we got to Houston, I told the team I had no idea what happened and that I'd never flown first class in my life. "They made a mistake."
While we waited for our next flight, I was given all kinds of advice about first class.
"The food is FREE???"
"Everything is free!"

"What about the little burritos?"
It was a fun experience, but honestly, I was ready to take my seat at the back of the plane.
I got to the counter, and I could feel everyone's eyes on me.

"Mr. Sisneros, it looks like you've been bumped to First Class today. Is that alright?"
"Are you sure?"
She laughed, "Yes. I'm sure."
"Thank you."
I boarded the plane from Houston to Guatemala and again was stared down as the rest of the team boarded the plane.
I just shrugged my shoulders and mouthed, "Sorry."
This time, though, I wasn't THAT sorry. And I was prepared.
It's a VERY weird experience to be on the other side of that curtain when the flight attendant closes it.
I felt a little... powerful. Haha. I ordered a Coke and the chicken, and I handled that napkin like a world-class matador.

I then spent the week playing with kids at an orphanage in Guatemala City.
On one of the last days, we helped at a feeding center. I remember walking in the back door and seeing more than 200 kids packed into a very full cafeteria. They were getting settled into their seats.
These kids were poor poor. As in, "This might be the only meal they eat today," poor.
I stood at the back of the room and watched them raise their hands and worship our mighty God. They LOVED Him. You could see it. YOU COULD FEEL IT.

For the previous year, I'd been praying, begging really, to fall in love with Jesus. Over and over again, day after day, I prayed, "God, I love you."
That day, He answered my prayer. I felt God say, "I don't want you on Sundays. I don't want you when you have time. I want ALL of you. Follow Me."

Here's the thing. When I went on that mission trip, I had ZERO intention of becoming a full-time missionary. Zero! I was an entrepreneur. I loved my life.
At the end of the trip, I knew our lives had changed forever. We owned two small businesses, I'd just launched a website, and suddenly,
I walked up to the counter to check-in.
"Mr. Sisneros, we've upgraded you to First Class today." I didn't even crack a smile.
The plane was packed as tight as a chicken bus. Every seat was taken. But in first class, it was just me and one other person.
I put on my sunglasses, stared out the window, and cried an ugly cry. "What would I tell my wife?"
Then, from Houston to Denver, I sat with the rest of the commoners, and I've never been bumped again.
Seven months later, we'd sold our house, our businesses, and everything we owned and landed in Guatemala City to serve our true Love with our whole lives.
"As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, 'Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.'" Mark 5:18
Not everyone is called to go.
There are goers, and there are senders.
We work together.

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