Tuesday, 6 March 2018
Ever felt like you’re called to something 'great'? You’re not alone, especially if you fit into the category of millenial and beyond. In the world of social media, cameras attached to the palm of our hands every where we go and being told we can do anything, dreams can come true and all the possible ‘self-help’ advice we could ever need, it's no secret we’ve all become a little, well, self-involved...
It’s no wonder we all think we’re the next big thing (insert context/ industry/ talent here). We all think we're special and wonderful in our own unique way, always on the verge of 'greatness'. The truth is I don't have a problem with us believing this at all, mostly because I believe there is validity in this mindset, however I often think our focus is way off mark...
In my twenties I certainly felt this weight of 'greatness' on my life, so much so that I was prepared to go down any path to find it, ultimately leading to publicly humiliating myself on a national singing competition... Years later I still have ambition for greatness but I also have a little bit of perspective (we're talking mustard seed level) :)
My perspective is a deeper understanding of the true greatness of God. This changes things, it changes how I think about this apparent 'greatness' I have been called to. It's not about my small human self-centred ambition, it's about entering the wild, allowing myself to be stretched and leaping wholeheartedly into the arms of Jesus.
Yet still I worry and want to control and sometimes even doubt. My humanity is a barrier to my death, death to myself every day because, others...
When we look to a biblical representation of following Christ into greatness it doesn't look like fame and affluence and comfort, it often looks like an earthly version of failure pure and simple.
‘...”Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul.”’ (Mark 8:34-36)
As a type A perfectionist, number 3 on the enneagram, failure is often not an option for me personally and when it does happen it is almost always followed by deep personal shame.
I struggle with the fact that God's calling does not always equal human success.
Yes, God loves you more than you will ever be able to know or imagine, He is for you, He is not against you, He is not waiting for you to trip up so He can come down hard on you BUT He is not looking for a performance, He's looking for your obedience.
This is not a popular message; No one wants to hear that they might give up everything they own for Christ and never get it back on this Earth. No one wants to hear that it's going to be hard and it might not always be smooth sailing, that's not encouraging, that doesn't give you the warm and fuzzy feeling we’re all addicted to.
True honest if your roots are not deeply grounded in the truth of His scripture you are going to shrink away in the first storm, just like Jesus warned in the parable of the seed; ‘Some fell on the rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had not root.’ (Mark 4:5-6)
Following Jesus does not come with a guarantee or a warranty, it's risky, it's messy and it's at times nonsensical. But when you feel the calling of the greatness of God on your life it's so much more than a performance of success it's one small yes after another, day by day walking with your creator.
I'm praying for courage and bravery for each of you today, may you know that true greatness comes after ultimate obedience.