(Originally published on The Year of Blogging Faithfully, November 17, 2014 ©Bethany Turner)
“What comes next is not your concern at this point.”
A friend said that as a comment in reply to my Day 108 post, regarding getting back into the writing/publishing arena. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? What comes next is not my concern at this point. I have blogged about and cried about and called out to God and anyone else who would listen about that exact thing, and I know there is nothing but truth in that statement.
I just finished re-reading the Book of Acts, and I can’t help but think of my old friend, the Apostle Paul. (If you’re new to The Year of Blogging Faithfully, just know that Paul and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship.) He was imprisoned, he was beaten, he was nearly killed, he was imprisoned again, he was left for dead, then back to prison… He was even shipwrecked, for goodness sake! Shipwrecked! He knew with complete certainty that God had called him to do exactly what he was doing, and he refused to let anything stand in his way. We (or at least I) tend to look at these giants of the faith as something more than human, something less than God. But certainly something more than us (or at least me). But Paul was very human. And I can sit here all day and say his calling was bigger than mine. Well, yeah. In terms of magnitude and longevity and actual impact on the lives of every generation to follow, yes. His calling was bigger than mine. But that doesn’t mean his was any more real than mine. That doesn’t mean he was any less human than I am.
And it’s easy to say, “But the resurrected Jesus literally met him on the road and told him exactly where to go, what to say, and what to do. So he had an advantage.” True. But God literally got me out of a career which was slowly but surely destroying me. And then, though the path was winding, He led me to the most fulfilling career path I could ever imagine – doing work for His Kingdom – through a series of events which, though perhaps less dramatic, were no less of God than the events on the road to Damascus.
And yes, it’s easy to say Paul is a giant of the faith, while lately I haven’t even been able to get out of bed early for quiet time with God because it’s just too cold and I’m tired. That makes me feel like such a wimp! Can you imagine if Paul had said, “Sorry, Timothy…I’m going to stay home today. It’s cold and I’m tired.”
But then do you know what I remember? I remember that I never persecuted the Christians. No one was laying their coats at my feet as they stoned Stephen. That was Paul. And God used him anyway.
We’re all human. We have all done things we’re not proud of. We have all struggled to be faithful. We have all occasionally taken the wrong path. Whether giant or wimp of the faith, God can use our circumstances. God can use our weakness. And we don’t have to worry about how. We just have to say, “Okay, God.”
So, what comes next is not my concern at this point. This moment is my concern. And in this moment, I am awake early, in spite of the cold, and in spite of how tired I am. I need to get back on track. I never got too far off the path, I don’t think, but I need to recommit to staying on the path God has set out for me. Even if it’s cold. Even if I’m tired. Even if I’m scared of rejection, and failure.
Okay, God. Let’s do this.