How to Include More People in God’s Kingdom

includeSummer Plans Include Everything

Summer plans have a way of changing with great fluidity in our family. As a teacher, I have eight weeks to go on adventures, visit family members, continue my education, and fortify myself for another school year. Don’t get me wrong, I love my students and my job, but as an introvert, I need some serious alone time for fortification.

My husband has four weeks off in the summer, but he can’t take them all at the same time. We had a complicated plan all worked out for this summer that would include a graduation, time with our grandson, a long solo road trip (for me), and a wedding (maybe).

Of course, everything usually changes. I got an unexpected offer from a family member—an offer to drive with me on part of my road trip. An offer I normally wouldn’t have considered. Although I include this person as a family member, I can’t claim that we have a close relationship. In fact, I have had unkind thoughts about this person and felt greatly frustrated many times when in their presence.

Normally, I’d Just Say No

When I got the email with the offer for summer companionship, I had just finished reading Bob Goff’s new book, Everybody Always. I had laughed, and cried, and felt convicted that I spent too much time acting as a hall monitor to other people’s behavior.

I dearly wanted to hit reply and politely decline the offer. But I couldn’t. Jesus made it clear (and Bob Goff did an excellent job of reminding me) that we need to love everybody—even the people who annoy us, creep us out, or frustrate us to no end.

Pray for me, won’t you? I’m driving out in faith that if I stick close to Jesus, I’ll find a way to delight in my road trip companion. I’ll want to include them in the planning and the journey, and not just think about my needs and wants.

Because if I can’t include my companion in my journey, how will they ever feel that Jesus wants to include them in his kingdom?

As Christians we should learn to include everybody. Even the people we don't understand or get along with. #Christianity</div?


  1. This is beautiful! Thank you for being so honest, Anita. I hope this trip will surprise in the most positive way possible.

  2. Definitely will be praying – for your travels…and all that God wants to teach you along the way! No doubt, there is blessing, already, for obediently following His nudging and accepting the offer.

  3. Brave soul! But trusting in Jesus , I know you have this! I need to read that book! He’s right. As Rob Bell reminds us too, love wins! I’m over in the 65 spot this week.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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