That was my shower meditation this morning. (I really need to get a recording unit in the shower for my conversation, not so much my singing…)As I verbalized the words, I felt something shift. Change. I began to see people caught up in their stuff when “right outside the door” was His stuff. The difference? Day and night!
There are two parts to this thinking. One is that you are doing what God has called you to(Or not.) and the other, his counting of success is different then ours.
So first let’s discuss how we measure success and then how God measures it.
Let me define success from my perspective when it is the world and man. Most people would begin to define success by saying; it is achieving goals, acquiring wealth and having prestige, status and power. Perhaps it is about being financially or emotionally secure. Maybe it is about having followers or lots of money. Most often we determine success in the here and now of life. (Obviously God’s approach is different, because even by the standards of the law, Isaiah failed because his prophecies did not come through until hundreds of years later.) Numbers, size, dollars and prestige. (Sometime the church even gets caught up in it.)
And God? Well, He tends to be more intent one’s obedience and faithfulness. Often regardless of opposition or personal cost. Are we being loyal to Him? Are we accomplishing His goals or His purpose for our life?
He is not concerned with how many hits I received on my blog or my Facebook. (And frankly neither am I. A few weeks ago, I came close to the 5,000 mark. 3 away in fact. And then the very next day everything changed. I began to accept it was a fluke. Yesterday it happened again. I am not excited or disappointed because I do not get it!) His method of “counting” is considerably different than ours.
So, once we come to the understanding of “His count” we begin to view things differently, prepare differently. I am sure David did not know the slingshot he used everyday would be His “walk in” to greatness. Or Moses would no longer be counting sheep but people.
Imagine Jesus. The Son of God. And a carpenter. Most likely one of the best. And then He was called out. Away from His livelihood. Into a world He had been called to and now He was “in ministry”. We never really get to know what Joseph thought. We do know what others thought. “Isn’t that the carpenter’s son?”
And that brings me to area two of my thinking. What if we what we are doing is but a season? But what IF what we thought was the next season we moved into just…wasn’t. What if the season we are in was the only one we thought we had? I mean here is Gideon hiding out and God comes to Him. It is like blowing a harmonica or strumming a guitar in your bedroom and the next day you are yanked out and put on stage with the biggest names in the business…AND you are leading!!! You are David, tending sheep, singing songs and then you are King! (And you still brought your baggage!) Moses, I am sure he thought it’s just me and the kids and a few hundred sheep…this is it. BAM! You are driving down the same street you do everyday and a street light starts having a conversation with you. You go home and tell the spouse and they tell you…”Let’s go!”
Some people are called to what they are to do. Read about the craftsmen and the artists. They were the best! And they were chosen. And I am sure there is another group that is doing what they want to do rather than what they were called to do. There is often a difference between His calling and purpose and your “calling and destiny”.
What if were to be removed from that area? What if it wasn’t music? Or art? Or just making widgets?
I am not sure who coached Moses or Gideon. I suspect in part their families. I went to a school when I was young and many were the children of the Jewish faith who were being schooled to be doctors and lawyers. I lived near another school in later life that schooled the children of men and women of great influence. They all were being groomed. Pity any one of those children who came home and said. “I want to paint. Lawyer…not so much!” What did people think when Jesus stepped out? Or Gideon? (Envision his father saying “That’s my boy!” And running home to say “HELP ME!”)
People considered men like Jeremiah a failure. Jesus was a failure by man’s standards. Whose measuring stick are we using? Whose plumb line? I think we must use the works of God and His standards.
You have before you a few questions.
- Is this what I am to be doing?
- What are my preparations for the future?
- What if it is not?
- Can I live with God’s choosing? (Jonah was not so happy with the new future!)
- Do I value my success above God’s?
- Am I missing it? Because of fear, pride or prestige?
- Do I care?
I think about this kind of thing a lot. The only thing I do is write (When I am not working.)and hang out with God. I wonder if He will tell me to lay it all down. Will I be okay? What if He launched me into something else?
Let me be open about something. The latest job has caused me to think a lot about Moses. Did He think “this was just how it was”? What if he did not even like sheep? Was he ready to be a deliverer? Was the whole circumcision issue a shot at “avoidance”, an attempt to disqualify himself? Was there pride, fear or shame? Or all of them?
We are in the midst of a huge shift. People-look out the window! What do you see? If, like the bear you just see another mountain, you are not there! Maybe you don’t want another mountain. (Caleb did!) “I am okay with the ‘king and priest’ thing as long as I am not being chased by Saul. Or Pharaoh.” But what if you were?
You have to look beyond to get beyond. But no longer will magical thinking be the issue. No longer will we play with childish things. God is in the room. It is time!