Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My Part

The past 24 hours have been much like the past 24 days which have been much like the past 24 months which have been much like the past 24 years. I walked through my waking hours and realized countless moments that I'm not God and can't be and shouldn't be. I must admit, every time I realize this, there is a bit of dejection that I experience. It is almost always with a hint of shock that I make this discovery too. "Ah man, I wanted to play God today...bummer"

Yesterday, when I woke up after my 17th consecutive night of 5 hours of sleep and felt like I could go back to sleep until mid November, I wished that I could be God so I didn't have to shut down and could stay up 24/7. Apparently, God is the only one qualified to do that (and didn't he say something about a Sabbath deal in Gen?) and so that stinks. I went into the office and realized that my small church has more need than one man can provide. Now you think I would realize this since in my own life God uses many people to help me transform spiritually. So I sat at my desk and kept wishing I was God. Good thing we had a staff meeting yesterday so I could at least be in charge of something. That feeling of power quickly faded after our amazing administrator, Karen Black, beat me bad in bowling yesterday. (this just in...Stephen Bailey bowled a 155!)

Last night Kim and I attended a fund raising dinner for Eastern European Missions with our friends Alan and Donna Phillips from MRN) and watched a video of people who are hurting and hungry for Bibles. I wanted so badly to heal and help them all! At one point I leaned over to Kim who had either been covertly cutting onions for an hour or was her usually compassionate self and was crying a Niagara of tears and said, "should we not unpack the boxes?" (implying that we move to Russia and help these people) to which she said, "yes!" Bottom-line is that we could move to Russia and still the need will be overwhelming. Why? Because try as I might, I am not God. Kim is a lot closer but even she is not God.

And then this morning I was hit again with the reality that I can't play God's part as looked at photos online of the devastation caused by Katrina in the Gulf Coast states. Horrible! For some powerfully painful pictures click here. As I scrolled through those pics I was just overwhelmed to the point of grief with the destruction and wished so badly that I could have stopped it or at least fixed it with a snap of my fingers. But I couldn't. I can't. I never will be able to.

But I can play my part. I can do my part in the grand play of life for the one act that I get to live. I can serve with all I've got for the hours that I'm awake. I can lead and encourage the staff and church with which God has blessed me. I might not be cast in the part of missionary in the Ukraine but I can give of my money and prayers. I can't stop a Hurricane (and apparently it shouldn't have been stopped?) but I can start a collection at our church to help raise funds for the victims.

I can do my part. You can do your part. God is on His throne! Amen.

7 comments:

DJG said...

I felt an actual physical weight on my shoulders as I showered and prayed this morning. I hurt for those people and asked God to show me the best way to help.

I know this is not my burden to shoulder alone, but it is ours to shoulder together. I thank God for that.

Lovell's Lookout said...

Joel- Great Blog. I used to think that I had to have all the answers to the hard questions of life. Now I find solace in the mystery of faith that says, " I don't know, but HE does." As the song goes, "YOU are God alone, in the good times and bad, you are on your throne, you are God alone..."
Have a great day...

Greg Kendall-Ball said...

Idn't great that that's all we have to do?

Personally, if it makes you feel better, I've never thought you were God. God wouldn't drive an old Porsche...he's transmogrify it into a new, shiny one!

Val said...

My favorite quote lately feeds right into your topic. I even posted on it a day or two ago: "Cause and effect are in God's hands. Is it not the part of faith simply to let them rest there? God is God. I dethrone him in my heart if I demand that he act in ways that satisfy my idea of justice.... The one who laid the earth's foundations and settled its dimensions knows where the line are drawn." -Elizabeth Elliott

Me said...

nice informative post .... keep it up...
have a great weekend....

mom in the flock said...

You're exactly where you need to be! I was raised in the church and lived all over (literally) and your sermons are nothing short of inspired and so powerful because of the humility you convey! I don't say that lightly.

Think of it this way, when you're in the right place, you have the ability to multiply your influence. This is especially necessary in affluent areas. Sometimes people need a push to be givers. So in essence, without moving to Russia or any other disadvantaged areas, perhaps your influence is multiplying WITHOUT YOU REALIZING IT.

I knew you were the one when you came to "try out" here at Lake Cities. I immediately liked you and your family when I read your letter of introduction in the bulletin.

Dwiggy444 said...

Great insights and perfect timing for me.

I have ALWAYS been the kind of guy who tries to do too much and ALWAYS falls short becuase, as you put it, "I am not God".

Thank you for the reminder and for the license to try to live a simple life of faith today.