“God’s plan is not to abandon this world, the world which He said was “very good.” Rather, He intends to remake it…The question we ought to be asking is how best we might join in.”― N.T. Wright, Simply Christian
I saw God at the BMV. No, really, I did. The BMV is the great
leveler. All-inclusive, no one can avoid it. It’s the epitome of mundane.
Always attached to a visit there is the phrase “have to.” It’s not a place we get excited about visiting. But the more I read about Jesus, I find that His purpose to redeem was not dependent on His location, task, or the size of the crowd gathered. He as more of a “get to” redeemer than a “have to” complainer. The purpose of His story was always clear. So as I sat there with my number, I thought to myself, “What story am I telling? How does His story fit here?”
Suddenly the young mother of a writhing toddler in front of me became an opportunity to lighten someone else’s burden like Jesus lightened mine. With just a few silly faces from me, the whiney scowl broke into a grin, and he started a gentle game of peek-a-boo. The mother looked back at me, thanked me with her eyes, and smiled. Others around us started giggling as his contagious laughter filled the room. Even the survival frowns of the workers behind the counter started turning up at the corners. No, I didn’t save humanity or cure a disease. But maybe I brought just a tiny little wink of heaven on earth in an unexpected place. As I went to my car, I couldn’t help thinking…what if every relationship, “to do” list item, or situation I found myself in was actually an opportunity to tell God’s story of redemption? An opportunity to bring a little more “up there, down here”?
As artists and leaders in the church, we are given an incredible gift to share, and yet how easily it can feel like a burden. Our perspectives get skewed in the pace of ministry. This is especially true during busy seasons surrounding holidays or special events (or even the simple fact that Sunday comes every week). Our “get to’s” can slowly morph into “have to’s”. But what if every day was really a “fresh start” to create “something new” like Christ is doing in us daily? We “get to” tell people week after week the greatest story ever told. What story are we telling the other six days–in the planning, the meetings, the editing, the rehearsing, the problem-solving, the frustrations, the misunderstandings? What kind of ripple effect could be created if ALL of our “have to’s” became the “get to’s” they were meant to be all along?
“Anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other…God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives.”2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (Msg)