Here’s an interesting piece a missionary shared with me this week. It was written by Fred Smith, who has a website called Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute. I like what he writes:
Service on HIS Schedule
Years ago, Dick Halverson, former Chaplain of the Senate, and I conducted a retreat for lay people. He gave me great freedom when he said, “Do you realize Christ did not have a daily planner? He simply when about doing good. When the woman with the lingering sickness stopped Him as He was on the way to raise Lazarus, He stopped and took care of her needs. He didn’t say, ‘Wait a minute, I am on my way to raise the dead and that is more important than your ongoing issue of blood.’ He stopped to touch her.”
Jesus used each opportunity to do good. When we believe God engineers our circumstances, He sets our priorities.
That phrase “Jesus went about doing good” has been a game changer for me. Our Christian service isn’t about setting lofty goals and striving for “maximum Kingdom impact.” Years ago there was a management theory called “Management While Walking Around.” I found the style helpful when I was assessing operations. You can pick up more in the midst rather than ensconced in the corner office. Our spiritual life is the same. We can see God’s hand in our day to day as we “go about.”
As I get older, my perspective on God’s involvement in my circumstances becomes clearer and clearer. I see His engineering in my daily life. When I was young, I was a great planner. I still believe in planning organizational activities. However, I’ve learned to leave great flexibility in my spirituality service. I see instances that seemed insignificant at the time were actually not so unimportant. Conversations that appeared to be casual might have great impact.
I had breakfast with a young professional man and gave him one thought which he wrote down. He later told me “That re-vectored my life.” I certainly wasn’t talking with him with the intent of making that long term impact. But, I was sitting down with him to listen and to respond appropriately.
God wants dedicates, not volunteers. The dedicated person gives us control, saying “I’m available to you. You do what you want with me.” The volunteer signs up for special service. The volunteer makes himself available on his own terms.
Joy in the Christian life comes when we open our hands and start seeing our daily walk as the means of active Christian service. Measuring impact is not our job – faithfulness is.