reblog: I don't want to do anything big for God...
Originally posted July 1, 2009
I know my blogging is sporadic at best and I still sometime wonder if it’s worth it or why even bother. But, here I am… unfiltered, uncensored and certainly unpolished.
The statement above (the title not the one about sporadic blogging) is so in contrast from the way I lived my life for years. Most of my life, I was told to “dream a big dream.” Dream a big dream of doing something great… something big… something awesome for God. And, make sure your dream is bigger than anything you can accomplish on your own or else it’s probably not God which is code for you are doing it all in the flesh and without faith and… you get the point. You’ve probably heard it too. Heck… I even preached a couple of these in my day.
And, like most things in life, I’m evaluating everything. It’s just where I am these days and at this point in my journey. So, I’ve been thinking about these statements and more importantly these concepts that we throw off on people in the Western church. And, I’ve been looking to the Word (there’s a novel idea) and comparing this line of thinking to the examples we find in there.
By and large, I don’t see this as the line of thinking in the examples the Holy Spirit, in His limitless wisdom, decided to hand down for all generation to benefit. Most of the men of faith had a measure of contentment rarely seen in church leaders in America. You don’t see the pressured “build it as big as you can, as fast as you can” stressed out, “why isn’t this working, so let’s try the next thing” frenzy that a lot of church leaders exist in.
I don’t see the “big dreams” beginning with man at all. It’s always been initiated by God.
God comes and taps Noah on the shoulder and somehow this drunkard of a man saves the planet and repopulates the earth.
God comes to Gideon and his response is, “Certainly, not me.”
God comes and hits Moses up and Moses argues for three chapters why God got it wrong and he’s not the guy.
God chooses mere fisherman who are content at working the family business to launch a global movement.
The only figure I can identify with a lot of ambition and “big dreams” to do “great things” for God is Saul… before God knocked him off his horse and he became Paul. He was killing Christians in the name of God and in the name of doing “great things” for God.
So, somewhere along the line, we have to stop the madness of it all and stop the frenzy of it all and just walk. Struggle if need be. And focus on what’s most important. And if somehow God taps us on the shoulder for something extraordinary then fine. And if not, that’s fine too.
We all have our part to do in raising our families. Doing the simple work of caring for others. Loving… truly loving our neighbors. Being generous and humble. Expressing devotion to God in simple service. And, I think in those things, God may just be more pleased than us getting all worked up about fulfilling the “big dreams” and building it as big as we can, as fast as we can.
Some may say, “that’s a cop out” but honestly I pity those that still live in that completely unbiblical, stressed out, fear-filled world of Amercian church leadership.
I for one, am living the dream and it may not be big to others but it is big to those closest to me. And I’ve never been more content.
The problem is I’m older now, I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t…
I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much - if at all.
These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I’m not downplaying that. But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light - that it’s going to change everything. Things don’t have to change the world to be important.
“We tend to think, ‘Life should be fair because God is fair.’ But God is not life. And if I confuse God with the physical reality of life- by expecting constant good health for example- then I set myself up for crashing disappointment.”—- Philip Yancey, Disappointment with God
“God becomes human, a real human being. While we exert ourselves to grow beyond our humanity, to leave the human behind us, God becomes human; and we must recognize that God wills that we be human, real human beings.”— Dietrich Bonhoeffer - from Ethics, page 84