What is man’s primary purpose?
I ask my children this over and over and over again. I ask them, not only because teaching them catechism* is important to me, but because I need to keep reminding myself. Every time their little voices coo out in unison, “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” my heart can sigh a great big soul satisfying sigh. Yes. Amen. I agree.
I find myself getting so overwhelmed some days. Do you ever find that?
Days when my heart feels so burdened by things I should be doing. By things that people, with only the best of intentions, bring awareness to in my life. By the so many things in the world that need to have something done about them.
There is adoption. God calls us to care for the orphans. Yes, he does. And pretty little banners declare that if only x% of christians would adopt then the world adoption problem would be solved. So why aren’t we?
There is world hunger. We know that much of the world is dying simply because they lack clean water and food. Of course I don’t stand by idly and like that this is happening. Of course I don’t! But a simple google search of organizations that are helping to fight world hunger comes up with more than 4 million hits. Overwhelming? Very. They’re all good. They’re all helping. They all need our help.
There is child trafficking, truly the one that hurts my heart beyond all else. Millions of children around the world being sold into slavery or taken from their families to labour without pay or be forced into the sex trade. At 8, 12, 15 years old. And this is not only happening in Cambodia or Nepal but in British Columbia, Canada. My very own home. It’s happening here. I just can’t see quite where.
I hear of all of these things and I read of them lest I be ignorant. I surely don’t want to be ignorant and yet the more I read the more I feel so helpless. And overwhelmed. And unsure of what I’m suppose to be doing.
Me. Not we. Not us. Just me. One person. Living the life that God has planned for me, living the story that is written for me. What am I suppose to do?
Advocates yell adopt! Or support this cause! Or come to my meeting! Or buy this jewellery! Or come to this dinner! And I yell back, “I can’t do it all!” I can’t do it all! I. can’t. do. it. all!
And I’m frustrated because I want to do it all. I want to support you and you and you and I want to buy t-shirts from your store and bracelets from yours and hand made bags from yours. But I can’t.
So I ask my boys again the question that I love to hear the answer to. Boys, what is man’s primary purpose?
“Go glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” They sing back. So simple. So eloquent.
These words hold no guilt. No shame. It’s people who shame and people who guilt. Not Christ.
I know that there are doers and senders and researchers and volunteers and everyone has there role but if I don’t have a baby from another country in my arms I feel like I haven’t done my part. I do. If I’m honest.
Of course these feelings are just that. Feelings. They aren’t truth. I need to speak truth to myself and I need my boys to remind me what we’re here for. To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
And this glorifying? Well, it’s going to look different in your life than it does in mine. Yes, it will be revolving around the same truths but the actions we each take and that which we are called to and our saying yes will be different than your saying yes. And that’s good and right and true. It’s how it’s suppose to be.
Hellen Keller said this, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
Words of great wisdom right there. So I will focus on what I, Rhonda, am suppose to do! I will try not to feel shame for not doing what you’re doing and I hope you won’t feel shame for not doing what I’m doing. We are different and we were created that way. Let’s be different then, shall we?
Because I may not be caring for an orphan but I am caring for a widow. Cooking for her (almost) every night of the week so that, unlike many other widows, she eats well. I may not be doing street evangelism but I am encouraging and building into women in my various spheres of influence. I may not be teaching from a stage but I am living my life very publicly as a testimony to Him. I may not be traveling to Tibet or Darfur but I am living a life of ministry here, where God has me today.
And I pray. I pray and I pray and I pray because when I’m not sure what else there is for me to do I do what I know I can, lift it up to the Father.
And while we have no plans of uprooting our lives and moving across the world, we aren’t opposed to it. And while we have no paperwork in to adopt a child, we aren’t opposed to it. And while we aren’t traveling to the inner city we are here, in the suburbs, living and interacting and having conversations with so many people about life and love and how Jesus has changed the meanings of those two words for us.
It feels so grand to me to do some of the things I’m not. But that’s my own pride, I know it is. I’ll likely never be the founder of an organization or go undercover into a brothel. I may never visit an orphanage in Russia or India. But I want to. My heart is saying yes. I just know it’s better when God is also saying yes.
“For i know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
And now for a question: What are you doing? I know all of you reading this are doing wonderful and fantastic things and I want a chance to celebrate them with you here! Are you adopting a baby? Caring for seniors? Raising your littles? Praying? Teaching? Feeding people? Helping? Caring? Sharing? I know there are a million more. Would you tell me? What are YOU doing?
*catechism: A summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of questions and answers, used for the instruction of Christians.