Sometimes in life you find yourself attending appointments you’d never thought you’d need to go to, sitting in waiting rooms you never knew existed, ordering books you never thought you would use. Sometimes you feel like you hopped on board a rollercoaster when you were expecting a sedate train ride.
That’s life. The unexpected does happen. As much as we’d like to be in control of our lives we aren’t. Sure there’s a lot that we can determine even if it is just what we wear for the day, but there’s much that we can’t influence or for that matter change.
Fortunately, nothing takes God by surprise. Even when we are on uncharted territory we are not alone for He is there with us. And while we may be forging new paths and climbing new mountains we can know that God still guides our steps. In other words, God is there with us surrounding us with wisdom and strength, grace and peace for every step that we take.
“With all your heart rely on Him to guide you, and He will lead you in every decision you make.” (Proverbs 3:5 The Passion Translation)
Walking past a department store counter it caught my eye. How could it not – a beautiful delicate blue chevron patterned bag. Eye catching and gorgeous. And that was before I picked it up and appreciated the practicalities of the design. You will be relieved, if not surprised to know, that I put it back down again, not needing another one. But there was definitely something about the bag and what it represented – a mini break perhaps, or a tropical holiday, time out, relaxation. It was, I quite decided, the aspirational bag.
There’s a lot in life that can inspire or make us aspire to a better life. Bright pink running shoes that suggest running would be the best way to get fit. The beautifully bound journal that inspires you to find a quiet nook and write great works! The brightly coloured mug that begs to be filled with coffee and slowly enjoyed.
And then there is worship. Worship songs played at home or in the car or on the ipod (while running in pink shoes) that stir your spirit and move centre stage from background music to the your main focus. Worship that grabs hold of you and interrupts what you are doing to cause you to stop, pause and give glory to God.
The bag and the pink running shoes won’t transform my life. Yes, they can be tools of motivation but they aren’t transformational. They’ll get dirty or lose the new fresh appeal and probably be relegated to the bottom of the wardrobe. Worship though is transformational. The more we worship and magnify God, the more we glorify Him, the more we are changed – transformed into His image.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Every day a lone man stands on the side of a main road heading into the CBD. Holding a simple hand painted sign to draw our attention to an issue, to politics to social needs, to sometimes I think just random words. He has his supporters who always toot their horns in encouragement. During Election time he was periodically joined by different Political parties with their coloured and professionally printed placards.
Today, he was there again with a sign of just one word “Yet”. A simple word and I’m not sure I know what he was trying to convey by it. Somehow my mind went down the track of what a yeti looks like before it came back to contemplate the word “yet”.
Yet – a small word, but not inconsequential. It inspires hope of progress, hope of change.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Yet – It says to me that while I’m not there (yet!), I am on my way!
Next time I see this man with his signs, I think I’ll toot him in support.
I had a terrible night sleep. If the humidity and heaviness of the air wasn’t bad enough my room was also invaded by a powerful fiend….the mosquito.
Having stirred, my ears registered the faint hum of the mosquito which got louder as it neared me. I tried to ignore it but couldn’t. Light was turned on – I tried to stare into thin air to find it. Hard enough to do at any other time of the day, but with sleep bleared eyes even harder. I resorted to Insect spray. The drone of the mosquito still continued and now all I could smell was the spray.
In the end I fell sleep, head buried under my pillow to shut out the noise of the mosquito. Worse than a party next door (not that my neighbours have those), this tiny little mosquito ruined my night!
This infuriating mosquito was so little yet it’s impact on me was so huge! I wonder if it was at all daunted at its ability to disturb my sleep? We stare at life, we look at our communities, we look at the obstacles and think how I can make an impact. We can be daunted as to the size of the task and the smallness of us.
Well my friend, if that mosquito can you can!
History is full of stories of ordinary people leading extraordinary lives as they stepped up to be change agents and shape their times. Churchill rallied a nation against Hitler. Martin Luther King had a dream that brought segregation to an end in the United States. Ghandi, a lawyer from India, broke the strength of the British Empire to birth a nation.
These ordinary people, born for such as time as theirs, pressed against History and transformed their world. They were the tipping point and they demonstrate that one person can make a difference.
Throughout the Bible we see time and time again, God choosing the few to overcome the many; the small to overcome the large. We see it with David and Goliath, Gideon and his 300 soldiers, and Elijah against the prophets of Baal.
We may not be Warriors or Prime Ministers, but we are all change makers. We all have a sphere of influence. You may be just one person – one Christian in your family, one Christian in your workplace but you carry within you the King and Lord of all! Don’t underestimate your ability to influence. You affect and impact the people you are around. You can be that tipping point for change that your family, your workplace, city and nation so need.
We were all created for a specific purpose by our God. A purpose to change the world in which we live, to do His divine will. Every pawn on the chess board has a role and is needed if the game is to be won. Don’t discredit yourself if you are not the Bishop or the Queen. We are all needed. We are all planned for. We all have a role to play. We are told in Daniel that “the people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32). So we can confidently and boldly step out and impact every nation and every generation.
Resist the efforts of the world to keep you as one of the crowd. Look beyond the present conditions. Look beyond the obvious and see the future of your dreams. Ghandi did, Churchill and Martin Luther King did. They saw a future and so they stepped out from the crowd and fought for it.
It takes just one person to stand. So don’t despise the day of small beginnings -just keep on being obedient to whatever God tells you to do. Those small acts of obedience to God, those small responses to God moving in your life all count.
Small becomes large – a minority becomes a majority when our God is involved.
Remember – “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito“. (African proverb)