Passage taken from Mark 10:
35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left,in your glory.” 38Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,44and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
It seems to me, human desire for power and fame gets us into trouble. The thing I’ve been hearing/reading is that “you can be the change” or “you can be a part of God’s story” or “you can change the world for God.” We are supposed to have a great purpose in life, we just need to find our spiritual gifts and use them. Of course, we discover this through a bubble test and in a small group who talks to us about this. We are supposed to “go deeper” to get closer to God than we could ever imagine. Our lives are to be something special.
What if God’s plan for my life is actually to clean toilets. What if after all my Bible study, prayer, getting together with my small group of people from church leads only to cleaning toilets? Day after day, I am to clean toilets. That’s the task of my life, nothing more really. Maybe I get to make my own meals. Maybe I am not chosen for marriage. Maybe there’s no other job. Maybe I live in a country where just getting together with other Christians is a big deal and since I do that all the work I get to do is clean toilets in the homes of those poor but rich enough to pay for toilet cleaning. I never get to change the world. Never once. Is my life a waste? I believe by faith in Christ, I show it in my life, but I do not wake up getting all the promises of some of these pastors, and I do not feel I’m being written into some big story by God on my faith journey. I just spend every day reading my Bible, praying, going to work, eating, sleeping, only to start again. I just wonder, if life ends up like this for some of the chosen believers, why are there those pushing some great “purpose” story.
Of course God has a plan and a purpose. But, we may not see our part of it until eternity. There were many times in biblical history that were not recorded. Many faithful who did NOT do anything of significance (as defined by pastors these days) but they are still going to be in heaven. They were not in the physical presence of Christ, never started a movement, never changed the world. We are not called to change the world. Yes, go and make disciples. Yes, love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. But this doesn’t always feel like you are at the right hand of Christ. The story might be boring to normal people. A mother who sits home with her toddlers each day, not making earth shattering changes in the world. She’s just doing what her nurturing spirit feels to do based on the love God has given her. She teaches her chidlren because of the faith God gave her. Her children grow and she doesn’t know the end of their lives, the fruit of her work. It’s not that she is necessarily pouring in to the next “Billy Graham.” She’s just living her life the best way she can figure by reading the scriptures and doing the tasks given her by God. All this is just the simple life. No personal glory.
How does this fit into Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven stuff, or on the Missional vision for all these churches? Isn’t God the one who has the plans? Are we to push forth our plans, to be some great link in something great? What if we’re just an ordinary creation, a person who just serves in small ways? What if we are but an “ant in humanity”? Do we not have treasure in heaven too?