Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One life at a time

Are you like me? do you harbour dreams of changing the world, influencing significant people and seeing lots of people come to faith through your endeavours?

What if it isn't meant to work that way?

I'm all for significance, but maybe we're not all destined for great ministries, maybe that's the realm of the few. Not specially chosen, but just the few on whom god chooses to pour out a blessing that is beyond the normality of the rest of us. It isn't that we are somehow less important or less committed or less able than these others, it's just that God has chosen us for a different task.

Think about Abraham and his obvious significance in our story, but the relative smallness of his experience. He only had the one son by Sarah in fulfilment of a pretty big promise to be the father of nations. Think of the prophets and the range of their ministries from single prophecies to multilayered, long-term prophetic ministries.

I read the story of the calling of Levi this morning, and it made me think about one life at a time. Jesus called Levi. He didn't call Levi and all his friends, or all the other tax-collectors. He focussed on Levi, a single life. It was Levi who then invited his friends to meet Jesus and no doubt some of them had their lives transformed through that meting. But it began with the call of one person, a single life.

What is the ministry Jesus has for you is to connect one life to the kingdom and that's all? What if it's that one life that he will use to transform a community, to build a church or start a movement? Would you be up for that? Would you sacrifice all your dreams and ambitions for a single disciple.

I'd love to plant a vibrant, growing missional community in the place where I live. But maybe my role is simply to find the person through whom Jesus wants to do that and introduced them to him. If I spend all my time dreaming of the big movement and not focussing on the one life, then maybe I'll miss something really important and the kingdom will be missing another disciple.

I will continue to dream, but I will do so with my eyes open to the possibilities along the way. If Levi is out there, I don't want to miss him!

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