My life has been spent in the perfection mode. Go big or go home. There’s been no event that wasn’t taken to the highest or best it could be. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with wanting to do everything with excellence but perfection can be overwhelming. Perfection and lead one to spin her wheels, waste time, and feel depleted and useless because the end result was is what was expected or longed for. This strive has left me feeling useless for the kingdom of God and totally overwhelmed with where to begin.
Compassion International battles the world’s hunger crises, A21 fights human trafficking and Samaritan’s Purse helps people who are victim to violence, oppression, disaster and disease. My family and I have donated to organizations like these who have a HUGE mission and purpose. They are helping hundreds of thousands of people and literally changing the world. And when I think of the great commission, that’s exactly what comes to mind, world change. But still, I feel so small and helpless in these global fights for victory over the effects of sin in our world. Does my donation really do anything? I can’t see the fruit of my few dollars.
Mark, like all of the gospels outlines the Great Commission, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved and whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16. The world is a very big place so this is a quite overwhelming to one who likes to do everything perfectly.
What I’m learning as I get older is that very few of us will change the world but we can and should be changing someone’s world. Jesus changed the world obviously by giving his life for us. But if we go back and look at his ministry, how was it that he spread the gospel? Through 12 people. His reach was actually small but it was powerful. Then those 12 people reached a few more people and the so on and so on. They changed the world one person at a time.
I have always admired the “greats” in the bible, you know, those listed in the hall of faith; Abraham, Moses, Noah, Sarah, Rahab! Their faith was great and they rose to true greatness. So much so that they were listed in the bible. That’s always been my goal (not to be listed in the bible) but to do so something so great for the kingdom that my name is remembered.
I am encouraged and reminded that world change and greatness really does start small and small is not forgotten. Starting with the people God places right in front of me, loving and serving them, that is where to begin. Saying, “Here I am, Lord” as Jacob did is always the first and most crucial step forward. As Paul closes out his letter to the Romans, his list of ladies (and some gentleman) make my heart sing for joy! These people were “no names”. They didn’t get their own book of the bible or even their own chapter yet they are there. Names we have literally never heard of before like Phoebe, Andronicus, Junia, Urbanus, Stachys and Apelles; 27 in total. They did small. They didn’t go unnoticed. Just as Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, the one whom he had cast out demons, the one who was “worthless” and scarred, so he sees and uses each and every one who is willing to say those all-important words, “Here I am, Lord!”
Start small. Be 100% to a few. Change the world for someone.
Lord, your message was clear and your approach unconventional but you changed the world! Thank you for reminding me that there’s no need to be overwhelmed changing the world. Thank you for each and every “no name” person mentioned in your word that encourages me to say day after day, “Here I am”. Give me the courage and boldness to spend my time doing small and helping one person at a time! Amen.