Monday, January 12, 2015

Be Where You Are

One of my favorite psalms is Psalm 131. It reads, “Lord, my heart is not proud; nor are my eyes haughty. I have not gone after things too great, nor marvels beyond me. Rather, I have stilled my soul, like a weaned child to its mother, even so is my soul.”

I often get questions from men and women of all ages about discerning what God is calling them to: Should I ask this woman to marry me? Should I join the seminary? Would you look for another job if you were in my shoes?

In the midst of feeling compelled or attracted to something new (and often good), I think the step we can often overlook is whether we are fully giving ourselves to our role at hand. We could ask instead, “Is your soul still, at peace?”

It's easy to feel called out of what you are presently doing if you're not putting yourself fully into what you should be presently doing. Take college students, for example. It's easy to feel called out of your college major if you're not putting yourself into your classes. For those who work: it's easy to feel called out of your job if you're not trying to do your job well. Finally, for those who are married or dating: it is easy to feel called out of your marriage or relationship if you're not investing your free time and sacrificing your personal wants for the love of your boyfriend or girlfriend or wife or husband.

Sometimes we commit the sin of pride simply by thinking we “are beyond” what we have been given or what we have consciously chosen. Jesus is a good model for us in all things, and especially in living out his role.

Jesus was a carpenter most of his life, and he was no less divine for being fully engaged in the work of building or the study of the Hebrew scriptures than he would be later in public ministry. In fact, I don’t think we can say Jesus’ mission “suffered” because of how he spent his time before his public ministry.

Your work right now—and mine—is our hinge of holiness. If we cannot learn to live fully where we are, how can we expect to be happy where we move to? Christ calls us to fullness of life, and he will make known where that path leads. But it starts by being where we are, first.