I was surfing around some nonprofit Web sites this morning, and came across one dealing with adoption. The organization is Christian in its approach, which I don't have a problem with. Somewhere on the site, I found language about parenting and something along the lines of hoping that our children will do mighty things for God.
What is it with our desire to win, conquer, and be powerful? We want to be out in front. We want to be better than others. And, some Christians pray for God's help in this endeavor.
I couldn't help but wonder: what would it look like if we instead prayed that we, and our children, could do simple things for God? What would happen if we prayed that God would use us to be small, unnoticed, or anonymous?
Truthfully, that is one of my great fears. I enjoy being out in front. I have no fear of public speaking. I like to lead. I want people to know who I am. So what if God calls me to pack my things, move to a remote spot in Chad and dig wells the rest of my days? What if I feel the need to move to a faraway location in Bangladesh and work in a market? Or, what if I must stay where I am, get a 9-to-5, and put in my 40 years, known only to my wife and a handful of friends?
And then I realize that those who pray for God to use their children in mighty ways is the same way I want God to use me.
But, I think that some of the mightiest things we can do for God are the things considered small and insignificant by many in our world. I admire the crap out of the following people:
- My friend in Tacoma who whittled her life's possessions down to 6 boxes so that when the opportunity arose, she could easily commit to moving abroad and teaching.
- My friend in Houston, who is one of the most Christian persons I know, who loves his wife, his church, and tries his best to be who he feels God wants him to be.
- My friend in Nashville, who works a (relatively) thankless job preventing teenagers from developing addictive or destructive behaviors.
And there are countless others I've met who work in the nonprofit world, who raise families, who serve others, all of whom may never garner a headline or a lead story about them.
But they're doing mighty things - the kinds of mighty things I hope to be doing one day. And that's my prayer - that I will be able to know that the mightiest works are not those done in the public eye with everyone admiring. Rather, the mighty works are those done habitually, where character counts and consistency is key.