There is a saying, "Bloom where you are planted." I don't know who said it, but I am sure I would not like them. I first heard it when I was a child, and at that time, I knew I could not bloom in the family to which I was born. Then as a young adult, I heard it again, and again, it didn't seem to apply. It echoed the hopelessness of my life. Nothing had ever, nor would ever, it seemed, go right for "blooming." Best I hoped for was survival.
Now, well, I am perhaps not quite so cynical or hopeless.
And perhaps now I get the concept. I am who I am, where I am, and no one else is or could be. That is actually good news.
Did you ever go to a big conference where there are powerful speakers that ignite in you the desire to do great things? I hate them, well, not so much the conferences but what they draw attention to. They remind me of my mediocrity, as well as my lack of achievements in my half a lifetime on this earth. I wallow in this for a while-how I let God down, how I am less than these amazing people who seem to sacrifice everything for God while I work my mundane job and cook a frozen dinner and meet with a girlfriend for a frappacino. I want to evangelize the world, preach a moving sermon that leads many to Jesus, feed the orphans, leave my comfortable American life to die overseas for the mission of Christ. Later, when I take my regret to my Father, He quietly reminds me who, and Whose, I am.
I was not put here to do great things. Neither were you.
Isn't that a relief?
Not that we are off the hook altogether. Because of who I am and where I am, I have experiences and contacts that you do not, no matter how similar we may be. That is where God wants to use me.
Ouch. Somehow doing big, extravangant things seem easier than the little ones. The little things are more intimate, even a little scarier. The big things are more glorious so if one looks a little crazy, they are just that much closer to God. The little things get you strange looks and sighs from your family. The big things seem to bring pride, while the small things bring insecurity.
For me, I know how those small things frighten me, make me take a deep breath while pray, "Are you sure you want me to do THAT?" I will, but I just want to make sure that He is talking to me.
There is no greater high, for me, than for participating in an adventure with God. That doesn't mean I don't feel like an idiot. That doesn't mean that it even makes sense. Recently, while following what I believe was His direction, nothing exciting happened. No insightful conversation, no tangible result for either myself or the others. But I was obedient. Sometimes knowing the "why" can result in pride, so I am content with simply being obedient.
What does this look like in "real" life? How can we practice being part of God's mission?
He who sees a need and waits to be asked for help
is as unkind as if he had refused it.