Friday, April 2, 2010

Where God Put You

I've written about this before, but I feel compelled to address it again. Truth is, after six years of blogging here (in June) there probably isn't much I haven't written about and there are likely things I will revisit many times in the future. In any case...

I recently read about a pastor who in his usual style set himself and his activities up as the standard for other Christian men to follow after. Again in his usual style he implied that if you (as a man) do not like what he likes, have kids as great as his, have a wife as "hot" as his, and do what he does, then you're just not measuring up as a man.

This reminded me of another man I ran into some years ago that used to say flat out that if you're not going out into the streets and evangelizing the way he does then you're a lousy excuse for a Christian.

I'm going to be brutally honest here and just admit that this line of thinking completely ticks me off. My first reaction when I hear something like this (and I hear it often enough - and maybe you do too?) is to think to myself "who exactly gave these men the authority to set themselves up as the standard for anyone?" Now to be fair, sometimes when people inadvertantly do this, they're doing it in a pleading way and not an arrogant way, i.e., "you should be doing this because it's the right thing to do". Yet even that can come across as pure arrogance if the person doesn't make it clear that they don't think of themselves as the standard, but points to our Christian duty as detailed in Scripture.

I believe in God's sovereign orchestration of life events. In the simplest terms, I believe if you're a janitor, horse stall pooper scooper, bank teller or daycare worker, you are there because that's where He wants you. If you're a stay at home mom, Bible study leader, freelance graphic designer, college student or cab driver, you are there because for the divine purposes of God, this is exactly where He wants you.

In that context, I think there is much to be said for not only being content with your current station in life (whatever it happens to be) but to use that position in whatever way you can for God's glory. Instead of trying to be the next superstar blogger or homeschooling expert because someone said you should be or could be, why not just assess where you really are and go from there? If you scoop horse poop from stalls all day with other scoopers, why not strike up conversations with them about eternal things? If you're serving trays of coffees out the drive-thru window all day why not brighten someone else's day by serving each one with a genuine smile and wishing them a fantastic day/evening? Why are we so quick to ignore the opportunities right in front of us to be a good witness for Christ where we are and pine away for some kind of loftier, more prestigious, important role in life? Greed? Malcontent? Envy? Yes, yes and yes, and every single one of us is guilty of it at some point, myself included. It's just as wrong as it is when someone else comes along and feeds that by telling you you're not "it" if you're not doing X, Y or Z. Now if you're truly not doing what you ought to be doing with your time (and we all know where we are slackers in our own lives) then take that advice to heart and get about doing what you should. However, never listen to someone who feeds your ego about grand things because if you do it's entirely possible you will begin to justify in your own mind, why it's okay to negelect the every day things.

Look around you today. Where are you in life? What could you be doing in that situation to bring a little joy, a little grace to others? Do you have opportunity to discuss eternal things? Do it! You may be surprised at how many people actually do want to talk about these things.

You may not be "happy" where you are (truth is, most of us aren't, life can be pretty hard sometimes) where you are, but you certainly can be useful, for God's glory. You don't need to dash off to the other side of the hill where you think the grass is greener, you've got plenty to keep you busy where you are if you just take a closer look.

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