As I've reflected on Sunday's sermon, those four words have echoed in my mind. The idea that God has set where I will go and live and the call to grow as a disciple and to make disciples is right where I am: right here, right now.
The call isn't later in life, after my husband and I have bought a home, secured better jobs, freed up our weekends or honed our people skills (okay, well if you've met my husband you know that was never an issue to begin with.)
Honestly, when I step back and look at my life on a broader scale, I already know that living on mission and loving people like Jesus isn't something to wait on. In many ways I believe that my life does reflect that. But as I've thought about it over these past few days, I've realized the problem is that my excuses are more....daily.
As a server, I don't always love my job but I love the people I work with. It seems like we are all at a turning point in our lives. Some are trying to get through school, some have been laid off from other jobs, some are single moms and some, like me, are servers because it was the job that was available. The bottom line is that waiting tables isn't the place any of us wants to be for the rest of our lives and one way to enjoy the job is by enjoying being with each other. It’s remarkable to see the unlikely friendships that have formed.
So here I am. God has placed me in a job not only with so many people who are ready to be known and loved but people that I truly enjoy being with. Right here. Right now. So what's the problem, right? The problem is the tiny excuses I make on a daily basis. I'm writing this on my day off and so far I have grocery shopped, done laundry, read a book and done just about everything I can to avoid spending time with other people. Because its my day off and I'd rather not. Not right here. Not right now. In the words of the effortless Scarlett O'Hara, I can't think about it today, I'll think about it tomorrow.
Even though I believe I am committed to growing as a disciple and making disciples and everything that comes with it, when the small daily things pop up, I'm not as willing as I think I am. It can be so much easier to go on a mission trip than to show people at work who Jesus is on a daily basis is by watching my words or lending a hand when I'm exhausted. It doesn't come naturally but it is where I'm at and how I can love people well. That's the whole idea of letting Jesus into every area of my life.
The truth is, none of my tiny excuses stand a chance. As Nate said, living like Jesus makes me feel weak. It can be discouraging. It can even be, dare I say, irritating. But there is nothing else quite like stepping back and seeing how my life, my choices and my relationships have been changed by Jesus to line up with God's purposes. As painful as it can be, I love seeing God not satisfied in commanding the broad values of my life but stepping into the daily nitty-gritty to change my heart in the smallest decisions. Isn't that what it means to take up our cross daily and follow him?
Let's be encouraged, friends, that the call to grow as disciples begins one day at a time. I’m interested to know, what about this is hard for you? Or the opposite, comment here or on Facebook. What works for you when loving those around you?