Recently, I attended a party and found myself sitting at a table with an elderly gentleman. I had known him for over twenty-five years. He is battling dementia and can hold a conversation, but if not redirected, the same conversation is repeated. When I first sat down to chat with him, he asked me what was new and was I keeping busy? He knew I performed vocally. I shared with him some of my highlights of the year thus far, leading worship at a women’s prison, my new song to itunes, and even this opportunity to share writings with you. He teared up and began to verbalize his regret of not stepping out and doing more with his life as a Christian. It hit me in a bad way.
This man had raised a large family and each child knew their father well and how much he loved them. He had been active in his church and all his neighbors knew he was dependable and kind. In fact, they had landed on his doorstep in times of need. Children lingered around him comfortably, sensing his playful demeanor. This is a good man, whom I respect. He has lived a life of good character and shown God’s love in the world in which he’d lived. Yet, he sat and vocalized regret.
I called him by name and said “I think we as Christians get to thinking that God called us to a title or a vocation, when in fact God called us to live in the world, not of the world.” I reminded him of the numerous people his life had touched. It seemed to defuse his emotions and he began to tell me of all he was grateful for, his wife of many years, his children and friends. I took a sigh of relief.
I’ve seen this demeanor before. I see it in churches where I speak and sing. People feeling the weight of self imposed goals to be “spiritual leaders”, but what God calls us to be are passionate people “in the world – but not of it”. Believers of God’s word, living a God inspired life right where we are, so that our spouse, children and neighbors can see our good character and know without doubt we are Christians.
God used a servant with managerial skills to rise up and save his nation from famine (Joseph). God used a young maid to speak to her mistress, connecting her and her husband with Elijah, introducing them to the power of God through healing (story of Naaman). God used an administrator and a beauty queen to save a nation from genocide (Esther and her uncle). God used a shepherd to rise up and be a mighty warrior and king (David). God used a humble women to be the best mother she could be (Mother Mary). Yes, God called Eli, Samuel and Moses to be priests, but the number of examples of God using people right where they are far out number those with a vocational title.
Let God use you right where you are.