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I’ll follow you anywhere.
I’ll follow you ANYWHERE.
Yes Lord, anywhere….umm, but, surely –you didn’t mean there
Maybe we think our calling is to go to the big city or the rural country. Maybe its over seas somewhere.
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Why do we often times think we are called to “there”. What about a place called home?
I had an interesting encounter with the Lord recently that gave me a perspective that my calling right now is closer to home. In fact, it is in my home.
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Family life isn’t always smooth. It can be messy, difficult, complicated, and sometimes ugly. There are times when we just want to get in our cars and leave (maybe permanently). In families there can be differences of opinions, heated discussions, hurt feelings, different world views between the generations.
What better place could there be to practice what we claim to believe?
I have a relative that claims I get defensive and prideful every time we have a difference of opinions. I, personally, do not believe this is the case ALL the time but, maybe I am wrong. We have a long difficult past. Maybe I am still carrying some of that around. Anyway…
I was praying after one of our long difficult conversations and I felt the Lord place on my heart: I want you to treat him the way you would treat me if I were standing before you.
What?!? Did that really just come to me??? Treat my relative the same way I would treat the almighty God?
So I tried it and I noticed a few things right away:
When I slouched against the wall with my arms crossed in front of me- that is NOT how I would stand before God.
I would not have that smirk on my face either.
I would instead be listening intently to understand his thoughts, not thinking “here we go again”, “why does he keep repeating himself”, “how much longer can this go on?”
And when I made the appropriate corrections I noticed my conversation with my relative went a lot smoother.
But a couple days later…we had a very heated argument. I silently whispered to God “ok, I get treating him with YOUR respect, but I can not do that lovingly while he is acting SO rude and disrespectful and ugly!” Immediately my next thought was “that is exactly whom I have called you to love– those who act ugly.” WHAT!!!!???? That is NOT what I wanted to hear.
When I said “Jesus I will follow you anywhere” I was thinking “out there” somewhere with strangers. Surely this relative is not the BIG call on my life? Or is it? What could be more fulfilling than knowing I helped save even one soul from eternal misery?
As Christians we are called to faith, love & hope. The greatest of these is love. I have been called to walk out my faith in my home. Mother Teresa said “to love the world we must first love within our homes.”
Maybe your calling is to do ministry to your alcoholic parent. Maybe it is to that bitter old aunt whom no one likes to be around. Maybe its to that outcast nephew that is into drugs and dangerous thoughts.
It might be easier to minister “out there”, to love on strangers and share Christ. Of course it is! 1) We have no history of mixed emotions with a stranger- no previous baggage. 2) When we minister to a specific population, often times there is a payoff. Someone or some people are patting our backs. They are happy we have gone and are making a difference to “those people”. We get verbal, emotional, financial support. We get recognition which carries us through when the going gets tough.
But when we minister at home its “just” expected (oh the drudgery of that word).
It’s not showy. Our pride does not get a boost. It’s hard to rise above the years we’ve gone through with some people. It’s messy. It’s not .like serving food at a soup kitchen or working a shift at a youth shelter where at the end of the day you feel like you made a contribution.
Maybe your calling is “out there” in the big public world. And that is awesome!! And still, we all have a calling to live out our faith closer to home. Perhaps with family, or neighbors, or co-workers.
Where ever God has lined you up right now IS where you are called to be an example, to love, to touch lives. So where is that? Take a look at the areas in your life– where is God wanting to use you?
Please share below.
Until Next Time~