In the Christian circles I am part of, one popular topic of conversation is finding our true purpose according to God’s Will for our lives. There are certainly a lot of books on this subject. Most of them are very well written, with a positive, uplifting message, obviously designed to make us excited about our lives, our devotion to God, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting these books down. I think they have wonderful things to say. Some even use scripture to help you to understand their points. But with the exception of a few, most of the books I’ve read have focused on dreaming larger than life dreams, being called to do great, visually acknowledged things for the Lord, with tons of admiration and adulation from your own followers. In my opinion, this could be kind of dangerous. After all, we’re not all called to be the next Beth Moore of Francis Chan…are we? I admit, it kind of strokes my ego a bit when I read in a book that the author believes I am so stinking wonderful that to be called to anything less than ultimate, worldwide attention and greatness would be an insult to God.
And then, my imagination begins to take flight…imagine my husband and me leading a world-famous megachurch, bring thousands of millions of souls to Christ. And I’m sure that our other ministries, like our Sunday morning TV broadcasts, our weekly podcasts and videos, and our best-selling books would have Satan shaking in fear and trepidation.
But maybe I’m not called to anything quite as elaborate as that. Maybe I’m simply called to be a small light in my tiny sphere of influence. Maybe my personal mission field is to be the “neighborhood mom”, making my house a safe, fun, and wholesome center of activity for my kids and their friends. Maybe my main ministry is to run the church nursery so tired moms can have a break and be refreshed by hearing the Word with the rest of our church family. Maybe I’m called to homeschool so I can educate my children in Biblical values as well as their core school subjects. Maybe I’m called to be a housewife to help my husband with his responsibilities at work and at home and to make myself open to ministry opportunities that wouldn’t be available to me if I worked outside of the home. Maybe I’m called to be a career woman that can bring the love and hope of Christ to my workplace. Maybe I’m called to smile at the old man in front of me at the checkout line in a grocery store because it will be the only human contact he has all week.
It is true, God does call some people to do great things in a very powerful way that may be noticed by others. But isn’t it possible that He calls some of us to smallness, too? According to the Oxford Essential Dictionary, the definition of small (when it pertains to people) is this: “not great in importance, strength, or power.” That got me thinking. I don’t consider myself to be great in importance, power, or strength. But my God, the One who has called me to live the life He has given me, is. Although my life may be considered to be small in the eyes of the world, it isn’t in the eyes of my Creator. How could it be? This is the plan He made specifically for me. When I finally figured that out, it blew me away. Every time I have tried to do my will rather than His, I have been plagued with doubt, fear, anxiety, and all peace fled from me. Now I am content to rest in the Lord and operate within the gifts He has given me, to use for His purposes, not my own. I am called to do whatever He asks me to do, whenever He asks me to do it, trusting Him to equip me with whatever I need to achieve the goals He sets for me.
Whether we are called to perceived greatness or smallness, we are called. All callings are important to the cause of Christ; none are unimportant, weak, or powerless. Our personal mission fields may differ but the outcome should be the same, bringing as many people to Christ as we can.