CNN founder Ted Turner once remarked, "If I only had a little humility, I would be perfect." In a strange and almost perfectly ironic sense, this statement encapsulates the spirit of our age--an attitude that gives lip service to humility while celebrating self-promotion. Humility is hardly a hallmark of our age.
From the playing fields of athletics to the trading floors of Wall Street, humility appears to be an accessory few persons believe they can afford. The dominant personalities and cultural icons of our day are most often individuals adept at self-promotion and projection. Sadly, this confusion about the true calling of humility is found even in the church, where humility is too often seen as a gift granted to the few, rather than as the command addressed to all.
November 19, 1863 At the dedication ceremony for a cemetery for Union soldiers at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address, commonly considered one of the finest speeches ever uttered by any politician. Lincoln articulated an eloquent memorial to the thousands of Union soldiers who fell on the battlefields of Gettysburg, and argued that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Nearly a century and a half ago, Charles Darwin conceded, "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree." He wrote botanist Asa Gray, "The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder." And Darwin didn't know nearly as much as we do about the sophistication of the signal processing from the eye and the nose.
All of this leads to a logical closing question: If researchers earn Nobel Prizes for discovering such intricacies in our sensory organs, doesn't the Intelligent Designer of all of this intricacy deserve some recognition? MORE: http://xrl.us/d24p
Our oldest son had just graduated from a wonderful Christian college. Most of his good friends were headed for careers in business or the professions - which can be great places to serve God. But his calling was to go as a missionary to an Indian reservation among a people listed by some world prayer people as one of the most unreached people groups in North America. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. In fact, his first place to sleep at night was a little storeroom, where he slept on a table so he wouldn't be a snack for the critters on the floor. He was there pretty much on his own, and he was just starting to try to break down some walls and meet some of the tribal young people there. He'd been there a couple of weeks when he called us one morning at sunrise his time. He had driven about eight miles to find a phone to call from. It was the kind of call a parent can't forget. He said, "Mom, Dad, I've got to tell you I've probably never been so lonely in my life. In college, I had friends whenever I wanted them, I could go out on a date whenever I wanted to, I could get some money together when I needed to. But here, I have none of those things." To be honest, our parents' hearts were really aching at that point. And then we were blown away by his unexpected conclusion. He said, "But I've also got to tell you this - I've never had such peace in my life. I'm where I was born to be, doing what I was born to do!"
It could be that your life has been very full, but not very fulfilling. What you're doing may be successful, but not necessarily significant. It may be cheered by men, but not very important to God, and you're restless inside. You know there's got to be something more. Maybe God is stirring your soul and trying to move you where you were born to be, doing what you were born to do. And it's different from what you're doing now. Don't be afraid of it. Be expectant. And be obedient - no matter how risky that obedience looks. There's actually no such thing as a risky obedience - only a risky disobedience.
In Jeremiah 1:5, our word for today from the Word of God, the Lord says this to Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart." When Jeremiah expresses his sense of being inadequate to carry out his calling, God says, "You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you."
On the one hand, these words applied particularly to the calling of Jeremiah to be God's prophet. But the sense of what He said is true of every child of God - including you. He formed you in the womb for special purposes, as Paul says, "for good works He prepared in advance" for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). And He's calling you to be where He made you to be, doing what He made you to do. And it may be something different from what you're doing now. You won't be able to see the whole road ahead, but He's expecting you to start walking that direction right now, following the light of His Word, and His leading through your prayers, and His defining circumstances.
His call is for you to "offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God." Out of that surrender, you will, according to Romans 12, "be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." To follow Him to your designer destiny, you may have to defy the drumbeat of the culture around you. You may be called foolish by those who can't understand heaven's plans. You will almost surely have to proceed by faith; trusting in the Lord who loves you, not in a plan that you can control or figure out.
But, by all means, follow Him where He's taking you. The alternative? A future filled with the bitter regrets of someone who knows they've missed what they were put here for. Don't settle for anything less than being where you were born to be, and doing what you were born to do. Ron Hutchcraft