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Why I’m Okay with Not Doing Big Things for God

I posted this quote from Phil Vischer on Facebook yesterday:

“If I am a Christian–if I have given Christ lordship of my life–where I am in five years is none of my business. Where I am in twenty years is none of my business. Where I am tomorrow is none of my business. So our plan… is to make no long-range plans unless God gives them explicitly…. Just a bunch of people on their knees, trusting God for guidance each day. Holding everything loosely but God himself” (Me, Myself, & Bob, 248).

I started Phil’s biography the morning of January 1, and found I couldn’t put it down. I was done with it before the first day of the year was over.

This quote appears towards the end of the book, after Phil tells the story of both the growth and the failure of his company, Big Idea Productions. He felt like the dream for that company, for the VeggieTales films, had been given to him by God, and then he failed. And he could not fathom where God was in the midst of that.

Then he takes readers through his journey of learning to let go of everything but God himself, to love nothing more than God, and to let God lead him.

The whole thing resonated with me a lot more than I expected. You see, I really want to do something big for God.

Last year I read this book, Anything, by Jennie Allen. It was one of my favorites from the year and after I read it, I found myself praying the same thing Jennie did: God, I will do anything. I didn’t have any idea what sort of anything God might ask me to do, so I started throwing things out there, bringing every aspect of my life that I could think of before the Lord. My prayers were something along these lines: I’ll go to a foreign country if that’s what you ask us to do. I will sell everything I have and move into an even smaller home. I’ll adopt a baby. I’ll quit my job. I’ll go to work full-time. I’ll go back to school. Whatever it is you ask of me, I will do it.

The more I threw out big things like that, the more silent God seemed. I would do anything for him. Didn’t he get that? Didn’t he want me to do something big and audacious for him? Something that would make the world sit up and take notice?

After weeks of praying like that, I finally got desperate. I kneeled down beside my bed, and wept before the Lord. “God, I really will do anything. Just tell me – what do you want from me?”

In that quiet moment, the Holy Spirit whispered to me the one thing I had not considered: What if I ask you to simply remain exactly where you are and stay faithful with what I have already given you? Would you do that?

Would I? Did I have a choice? I had already told God I would do anything. But this was not the anything I was expecting. I was not even sure it was the anything I wanted. It did not sound splashy or exciting. But it was what God was asking of me.

I could try to do something really big for God this year and completely miss what he wants from me. He doesn’t want me to decide for myself what is important for his kingdom. He gets to decide where to use me.

Phil Vischer came to the same realization: “I started to get it. The Christian life wasn’t about running like a maniac; it was about walking with God. It wasn’t about impact; it was about obedience. It wasn’t about making stuff up; it was about listening” (p. 243).

I still want to do something big for God. I always have. And I still believe that believe that maybe someday, I will.

But for 2015, if the most meaningful writing I compose is a note to a friend, that is okay. If the most important words I speak are to a single person in my church instead of a huge crowd, I will speak the words God gives me. If the most Christ-like service I accomplish is wiping a dirty bottom, or cleaning up my kids’ messes, or folding yet another load of laundry, I will do those things in Jesus’ name. I will let God decide what my contribution to the body of Christ needs to be.

I will do whatever Jesus asks of me. No matter how big. And no matter how small.