And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you? ~ Nehemiah 6:3
We all hear the siren call – to be busy, to fill our time with religious, family, and social activity, to do all the things, be all the things, look all the things.
But when we collapse in our beds at the end of the day, exhausted, drained, and discouraged, there is a whisper in our minds. Why do I keep doing this? The cycle of crazy? The constant busyness? Can I say as Nehemiah did that “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down”? Do I have the courage to say no to even good things that distract me from my purpose?
What is my calling? Do I have work – good, God-given work that I should be doing?
I am called to salvation, to walk in God’s light
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. ~ 1 Peter 2:9
I have been called to God’s salvation. Now, I have the responsibility (as his chosen race, as a royal priest, as part of his royal nation, as HIS person among HIS people) to tell of HIM. When I tell of Him, then others can know and perhaps walk in His light too. And telling others will help keep me focused on that most important relationship: the one between me and God!
I am called to be a Godly wife and mom
And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. ~ Titus 2:4-5
Yes, I understand that you may not be a young woman in my situation (read the entirety of Titus 2 and you may find your own role described!). But sometimes, I think we get so caught up in searching for our “purpose,” finding work to do, volunteering for meaningful activities, exploring our careers or trying to find ourselves, that we forget where God has placed us – right now.
Right now, I have a job. To love my husband and children. It sounds simple (and it is) – but to love them well requires great effort, much prayer and phenomenal amounts of my humility and time.
I am called to train my children spiritually
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. ~ Ephesians 6:4
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9
If I don’t teach my children about God, who will? There’s no one else (on earth) who knows them so well, loves them so much, or has the time with them that I do. If I can teach them to throw a football or cook a meal, surely I can teach them of the best gift ever given: the gospel of Christ!
Forgetting about “stuff” and pressing on towards heaven
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:12-14
And isn’t this the crux of the matter? Paul viewed his life radically. But as Christians, shouldn’t we be radical? The Christian life truly is a life and death matter! It SHOULD change every facet of our lives!
Perhaps, we all could ask before each activity, each decision, each part in our day:
Does this bring me (and those around me) closer to heaven or farther from it?
Not only would this simplify my life, it would also bring me (and those around me) the greatest joy imaginable: growing closer to Jesus and feeling His warm love around us.
Yes, we should be doing things. Being responsible. Caring for our house or our children or our parents or our jobs or our school work.
But if I lose sight of what I’ve been given stewardship of, if I lose sight of heaven as my goal, perhaps I need to stop and reevaluate. To say no, to let go, and to turn my feet back to the path that leads heavenward.
I have a great work to do. So do you.