Do we miss what God has called us to do today because we’re looking for a bigger, better adventure?
Grace D Williamson
When my teenage brother knelt down on one knee and begged me to shoot hoops with him, I knew something was wrong. His fervent request may have been slightly dramatic, but it got my attention. I realized how little I noticed him. I was so engrossed in my own projects and pursuits that I was failing to be faithful in small things – things like playing basketball with a little brother who desperately needed my friendship.
I was after all a busy girl. I had work to do, deadlines to meet, people to coordinate, and places to go. I was on a mission to serve God. That meant networking and taking on time-consuming projects.
I never imagined it meant shooting hoops with my little brother.
I saw myself as a soldier of God. I would march out and conquer the world. I was a scout, constantly on the lookout for new ideas, fresh projects, and inventive ways to expand the borders of Christ’s Kingdom. I just knew God’s call must be out there somewhere.
In my search for bigger and better Kingdom adventures, I failed to look around me. Right where I was. Am I so focused on finding the next big “God project” that I neglect to minister to people He has placed around me? I wondered as I dribbled the basketball with my brother. Am I being a good steward of the relationships God has given me today?
I dream of serving on the mission field, but why would God give me that opportunity when I’m too busy to get to know the girl across the street? I dream of having children of my own, but why would God give me that when I fail to minister to my siblings? How can we, the church, disciple the world if we can’t even influence our little brothers and sisters, our neighbors, or our coworkers?
I yearn for God to use me in monumental ways. But God tends to look for people who contentedly serve Him in seemingly insignificant things first.
Take Joseph for example. He was a faithful son, a faithful shepherd, a faithful slave, and a faithful prisoner before he ever became a faithful ruler.
Look at King David. He was a hardworking shepherd, a devoted friend, and a loyal soldier before He led Israel to victory.
My head overflows with dreams of how God might use me tomorrow. But He’s more likely to use people who faithfully serve Him today. Not next week. Not in ten years. Not when they become successful in their fields. Not when the world knows their names.
Some of God’s greatest servants are the people who work in everyday tasks God has given them. He uses the man who builds wholesome relationships with his coworkers. He uses the girl who turns off the TV and listens to a hurting friend. These are the people who serve God now, and they will be the ones who serve Him in the future.
As Paul wrote in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Some of the “good” things God calls us to do are colorful, exciting, and earn us renown – like taking down Goliath. Other good things seem bland, insignificant, and unnoticed – like herding sheep. Yet if we claim to serve Christ, we must do all things, great or small, thrilling or monotonous, for His glory.
Every small task God gives us today will strengthen our arms for tasks He is preparing for tomorrow. When Joseph was in the pit, God was preparing him for the palace. When David rescued his flock from the lion’s mouth, God was preparing him to face Goliath. As C. S. Lewis pointed out, “If you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.”* With each simple act of obedience, God is growing us into warriors and kings.
But the process starts right now. Too often we miss what God wants us to do today because we’re looking through the telescope, searching for something bigger and better. We miss countless opportunities to minister to people God has placed around us because we’re looking for a grander calling.
Surely we have been called to great things, but how can we ask God to grant our future dreams if we are unfaithful with our present responsibilities? Like the trusty servant who multiplied his five talents, I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)
*C. S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy
(Photo courtesy of Imago Photography)