Some years ago now, my work supervisor gave me the unusual assignment of going home to watch the Adam Sandler movie 'Click.' If you've never seen the movie, Sandler plays an overworked architect trying to juggle his family and burgeoning career, who stumbles upon a remote that enables him to pause, skip and fast forward through life (I can definitely think of times that one of those would have been most welcome!). Without divulging too much of the plotline, let's just say that he gets to a point where he realises with regret that he has used this power to 'click' his life away.
Perhaps you're wondering what prompted my supervisor to assign me such a task? I was in a difficult season of my life - we had just moved back in with my parents after 5 years of marriage and our first baby. Suffice to say life was most certainly not going to plan! My supervisor had asked me a question that I thought I had the right answer to. She had asked where was God for me right now? I had replied, "in His promises." Now I have to be honest, I not only thought that it was the right answer, I thought it was a very good answer! But nearly ten years on, I still remember her shaking her head as she told me that my answer was a problem because it meant I had God waiting in my future, not present with me in my right now.
She was not saying that promises were not a good thing; that I should not have a hope for my future that I was pressing in for. What she was encouraging me to understand was that God had things for me right now; that He wanted to be alongside me no matter how painful, messy or ordinary that 'now' might be. But I was in danger of 'clicking' my life away.
We do it all the time don't we?
We wish our lives away
We 'if only' and 'one day when' our lives away
And in doing so we rob ourselves and others, because living 'for such a time as this' means that now matters. Now matters - not just because it is leading you towards the future, but because in and of itself it is valuable. Now can be a time of purpose if we will choose to embrace where we are on the way to where we're going.
In Colossians 3, Paul is giving instructions for Christian households and he addresses those who find themselves as slaves within a household saying:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
I want you to pause and consider the context of this verse. Paul was not talking to people who were experiencing success, he was not encouraging people who found themselves in their dream job or with power and influence. He was talking to people who were slaves and servants in a household, addressing the attitude they were to adopt as they served their masters. He was telling them not just to do what was asked of them, but to do it willingly, heartily - some translations even say enthusiastically.
It was not an easy thing to ask of them but Paul let them in on a secret - they weren't really working for their masters, they were working for Christ Himself!
You know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
This perspective changing truth turned even the most menial role into a privilege. If we too can grasp this truth, then right now, whatever season we find ourselves in, whatever tasks are before us, can become an opportunity to serve God willingly and enthusiastically. Even if the task seems lowly, even if the season is a humbling one there is still God-given purpose and blessings for us in them as we keep our eyes firmly fixed on the one we are truly serving.
Every time I serve my family; every time I show kindness to a stranger; every time I perform the unseen tasks that keep my home, the ministries I oversee running; every time I just keep going is an opportunity to bring glory to Jesus. And you have the same opportunity - not tomorrow, but right now.
God has so much in store for each of us but He doesn't want us to 'click' our lives away in search of it. He wants us to unearth it one step at a time as we put our hand willingly to what is in front of us - doing it with Him and for Him.
Now matters. How you navigate it determines your inheritance; your heart attitude determines your reward. But more than that, now is a powerful opportunity to experience God and to serve Jesus right where you are; right as you are.
Live with purpose
One of my favourite pass-times as a kid was writing. I used to make my own books and write poetry on our old type-writer. Thankfully both my writing and technology have come a long way!
It is my prayer that these posts from both myself and guest contributors encourage you to embrace the season that you are in and to live it with purpose for God's glory.
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