I'm starting this blog with a video instead of scripture...let's mix things up a bit!
Hopefully you have clicked the link and have had a look at the video, but for those of you who haven't...it's all about bees! Specifically how each bee naturally falls into the role/s that it was born for. I feel that the same is true for us as a Christian community.
Recently I've been thinking about "calling" and what God's purpose is for my life. It's probably something we have all thought about at some point.
I have discovered that I am already doing what God wants me to do...I am already living out His plans for me. And so are you!
We have one purpose (to love in the name of Jesus) but we live out this purpose in more than one role in our lifetime. Where we are right now is just as important as where we are headed.
God made us the way that we are for His purpose. We are all different. He gave each of us a unique combination of gifts, talents, abilities and passions to ensure that we don't all live the same life. He gave us different opportunities and experiences to shape us in order for us to carry out His plans.
If every person were passionate about teaching, who would be a doctor? If everyone were talented singers, we wouldn't have musicians or record producers...or artists to design the art on an album cover.
Imagine a world without inventors, chefs, teachers, customer service advisors, builders, hairdressers, bankers, cleaners, police, firefighters...I could go on, but you probably get the gist of what I am saying.
We all want to be important, significant and respected. From a young age we strive to be something special! If you asked a classroom of children what they want to be when they grow up, I'll bet you that not one of them would say "I want to be an administrator!" But yet administrators are so important for the effective running of an company! No child would strive to be a security guard, and yet we need security guards at airports, business premises and prisons etc for the safety of the general public.
We are all important and significant in God's eyes. God equipped us all with all of the tools that we need to carry out His plans for us. Our talents, our interests and even our circumstances are pre-planned and laid out for us by God, even before we were born. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
These plans might not be as glamorous as we would have wanted. We might not be rich, we might never be well-known and respected in our careers ...we might not even have a career...but we must not forget the whole point of God having a purpose for each of us in the first place.
We are here to do God's will. We are here to help His Kingdom Come on Earth as it is in Heaven. We are called first to Him, gifted with His spirit, and sent out to preach, teach and care for His creation. Our purpose is to be an example of His love and His light in whichever circumstance and role He puts us in.
How would people know us and know God through us if we were all called to be in the same role?
If we were all glamorous movie stars who would relate to us?
It's not just in a career sense either! If we were all confident extroverts, who would relate to the humble introverts? If we were all rich then who would relate to the poor? Jesus could have been anything he wanted and He chose to be a mere carpenter's son and He bonded with the disciples who were fishermen and craftsmen. He related to the sinners, not the pharisees.
God can do anything, He literally breathed the world into existence...but He needs us to be His hands on this Earth. He has planted us into all different places, jobs, communities and situations...just where He needs us to be.
If you look at 2 honeybees they look the same on the outside, but they were born to carry out different roles in the hive. Each one is as important as the other, not one bee looks down on the other based on role or class. They all work together for the sake of their community. The same principle is true of the Church.
We are branches of the same vine. As Jesus tells us in John 15: 5- 8 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
I've often found myself amazed at how the Church functions. It is pretty similar to a bee hive!
First of all, we need people to come in to the Church in the first place in order for it to be worth opening the doors. These people would have needed to be invited in.
We then need people who are called to lead and teach the congregation, and people who are called to care for the congregations spiritual needs. We need people to lead Worship, people to reach out to the children and families, people to organise the mountains of paperwork, the bills, the registers etc. We need people to welcome others at the door, people to clean the church, people to organise events, people to work the sound desks....and each one of these people have different interests and skills, but what they all have in common is their motivation.
Each person is just as important as the other. Have you ever stopped and thought how amazing it is that each church has the specific people that they need to function?
What would it be like if noone in the church wanted to help with the children's work and outreach? Or if noone wanted to clean or serve the coffee? What if noone had a clue about how to look after the Chuches finances or organise the fetes?
It's pretty evident that God has called together the perfect mix of people in a certain place in order to carry out His plans.
So if you find yourself confused about your calling, take a look around you...you are already doing what you are supposed to be doing. You are exactly where you should be. Every experience (good and bad) shapes us and equips us to do God's work and prepares us to do more...whatever, whenever and wherever that may be.