I read the following quote by Bob Goff and it got me to thinking. It got under my skin. Frankly, it made me kind of angry.
You’re probably thinking, ‘Um, why does this bother you? It’s a nice quote about inclusivity.’ And it is. It’s a nice thought and a true thought. We’re all invited to the table. He IS sending us all in invitation.
My problem with this quote is that there is an assumption made that if you’re not living a loud public life of sacrifice, one that takes you to places unknown, exotic and scary, that you’re not at the party. That you’re saying ‘no’ to His invitation. That this author or anyone other than God knows what was in that invitation that He sends to each individual personally, frankly is kind of insulting. That’s quite an assumption to say that those who are at the fences or in the libraries are not already having their own party. Or that God did not send someone to the fences or to libraries.
Let me speak plainly: we’re not all called to be Christian rock stars. We’re not all called to go to the ends of the earth, to dig wells so people in rural African villages have clean water, to adopt orphan children, to feed the homeless. We’re not all called to write books for the masses or speak from podiums so all the world can hear. Some of us are called by our Creator to stay home and nurture the people He has given us. To teach the ones He has entrusted to us about Living Water. Some of us are called to support in emotional, practical, and financial ways those He did call to adopt orphan children, dig wells in Africa, and feed the homeless. Some of us are called to iron our husband’s shirts so he can make the money to send with the missionaries He has called to go to foreign countries and preach the gospel.
Some of us are called to make friends with our literal neighbors. To cry with them during loss, to bring them actual food. To tell them when their dog got out. Some of us are called to go to work everyday and show our colleges who Christ is, because God loves the guy at the fire station, or at the next computer, or the guy running the saw on the job site just as much as he loves the people on the other side of the world.
To assume that it is not an act of bravery to say yes to staying home, to being the support, the one who works and sends money, the one who prays, the one who ministers to their literal neighbors, the one who is not in the limelight but instead diligently working in the shadows is insulting.
A life well lived for God is not synonymous with a life lived loudly for God. It seems our current popular Christian culture is trying to convince us that only grand gesture Christianity is true and honorable. But I submit that there is also so much that is honorable and noble in a quite Christianity, a quiet service. It is not either/or. Those who are quietly going about their work for the Lord are not lesser than those shining brightly out in front.
Doing the job God has given to you is bravery whether it’s making someone else’s life more beautiful, hugging every child that walks through your school’s door, making a warm meal for yout family and any friends they may bring with them, going to another country, digging wells, inviting dignitaries for dinner, or simply attending college classes while listening to His still small voice telling you what your next step is so you can be used by Him to further His kingdom. It is all right. It is all bravery if you are following His will for you. You are attending His party. You are at His table. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.