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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

An ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence

I love how God shows His hand in Bible study.  I am reading unrelated books, going to listen to sermons at church that are unrelated to what I'm reading and studying.  And yet, especially lately, the themes have all been tying together.  A little freaky!  :)  Love that evidence of God talking to me, and helping me work through my walk here on earth.

I have spent my adult life trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do, to serve God. Somehow, I had it in my mind, to truly serve Him, it needed to be in a big way.  And if I couldn't do it in a big way, I wasn't really serving.  And since I have never done any big serving, haven't been able to figure it all out (all on my own, of course...because why would I ask the one I'm supposed to serve?), I haven't done much in my life, at least in my opinion.  Which, in turn, makes me feel bad with a dash of guilt.

I also felt to serve right, I needed to have an outstanding talent, money to give or buy, or even have extra gas money to get to where I needed to best serve.  I have never figured out any talent I have, money has always been tight (and at times, almost non-existent), and gas has been a true luxury at many times.

I felt I need to figure out how to be brave enough to approach people begging on the street, to figure out how to help them, somehow.

Do you see how many times I said "I," here?'s not all about me, I realize.  It's not supposed to be.  It's supposed to be all about God.  But, I didn't know how to make the best choices, come up with the right resources, find my talent, to serve.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm reading "The Purpose Driven Life."  Slowly.  Taking a couple of chapters a week, and just letting them digest in my head.  And, to be honest, I've had many mornings, lately, when I haven't gotten up in time to have Bible study before I had to start school with Isabella.  And, then, days get busy and I forget I need to make the time later in the day.  I'm working hard to get THAT changed.
Anyway, the section I'm in, now, the final section, is on Missions.  Honestly, I felt the little dread creep up my spine, when I saw I was getting into that.  The guilt.  The "how do I drop everything, leave my family for times to do missions?  How do I afford travel, child care, how do I find it in me to go out and be in the bigger world?" overwhelmed me.

The first chapter in this final section is titled Made for a Mission.  "Fulfilling your mission in the world is God's fifth purpose for your life."  Gulp.  Yes, Lord, I know.  What am I supposed to do? How do I do it? What talent do I have to go out into the world?

Later in the chapter, "Once we are His, God uses us to reach others."  Wait.."God uses us."  Yes, I have known that, always.  But, I read these words differently, this time, in my fear and guilt.  God uses us.  It's not up to me. Duh. Hello.  I know this, but those words made me really KNOW it.  Okay, but  When?  With what?  back to the fear and guilt.

Then, Rick Warren writes "God holds you responsible for the unbelievers who live around you."  Umm..I'M responsible?  How?  When? With what?

"Nothing else you do will ever matter as much as helping people establish an eternal relationship with God."  Nothing?  No pressure...

"It is easy to get distracted and sidetracked from your mission because Satan would rather have you do anything besides sharing your faith.  He will let you do all kinds of good things as long as you don't take anyone to heaven with you."  Wow.  Wow.  Wow.

"To fulfill your mission will require that you abandon your agenda and accept God's agenda for your life.  You can't just 'tack it on' to all the other things you'd like to do with your life."  Gulp.

"...because nothing will make a greater difference for eternity.  If you want to be used by God, you must care about what God cares about; what he cares about most is the redemption of the people he made. He wants his lost children found!"  Okay, Lord, not my will but Yours be done.

How? When? With what?

Another part of my daily time with God is reading daily devotions in "My Utmost For His Highest," by Oswald Chambers.  As I'm wrestling with my questions, I get to October 21st's reading.  In it, Mr. Chambers' words say "Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God."  "We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises - human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently.  But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty four hours of every day as a saint , going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus.  It is ingrained in us  that we have to do exceptional things for God - but we do not.  We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things in life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people..."

Wham!  Hit home with me.  Maybe my calling to Missions isn't to go to another city or state or country to share the Gospel.  Maybe my calling isn't to stand on the streets of the city I live in, or even the street I live on, sharing in people's faces the Gospel.  I know that we aren't to remain comfortable.  But, we need to use our talents.  My talent isn't preaching.  My talent isn't singing.  My talent isn't much of anything.  But, I can do things that are ordinary in my ordinary, unnoticed life that maybe, just maybe, can bring Christ to other people.

My How? When? With what? isn't crystal clear to me, even still.  But my focus of those questions is brought back to my ordinary life, dealing with ordinary things, on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people.

I trust God to open the doors.  I trust Him to push me through those doors or open the windows wide when I'm blind to what to do.  But, now I feel like I'm definitely where I'm supposed to be, doing what I need to be doing, looking for ways for God to use me, right here, right now.  And not wait for the big opportunities that may not even be in the plan for my life.

While I figure out my how, when, with what answers, I'll care for my husband, my daughter, my friends.  Look for opportunities to help neighbors, smile at cashiers, hold open doors gladly, strike up conversations with strangers in lines.  My ordinary life's things.

                                                           Viking boat Isabella and I made
                                                               from her history curriculum

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