From my perch on the couch, I watched him trim her nails. Never in her eight years on this earth did I recall him trimming baby girl’s nails. She was caught off-guard as well, looking at me occasionally as if to say, “Daddy isn’t doing this right…” or “What’s with the nail file?” And while I should have been grateful for his willingness to help, instead I was sad. Really sad, and I began to cry.
“I should be doing this, Billy. I always do this for her. You’re doing it wrong. I want to do this.”
He offered his apologies, understanding that there was something greater going on inside of me than just a compulsion for nail clipping. He knew that my mothering heartstrings were pulling hard and that his helpfulness was a direct reflection on just how little energy I have for the small things of life these days. That out of his great love for me, he wanted to spare me the details and allow me room enough to focus on the stuff that really matters. What he doesn’t understand is that nail-clipping really does matter to me; not because I’m an expert. Rarely have I acquiesced to a manicurist’s touch. No, my daughter’s nails matter to me because there are just some jobs that belong to me as her mother. Some things that I’ve always done… still need to do, because in doing them, I feel like I matter. Like I’m needed. Like I belong to something bigger than myself. Like my being here has purpose, even if that purpose seems small to others. Perhaps you understand.
We all need jobs that belong to us… need a focus and a reason to stir our hearts into action each day that we live on this earth. Without our attachments along these lines, we default to couch-livin’ and ample tears. We pass on the duties that are supposed to be ours rather than living out the responsibilities that are within our reaches and tethered closely to our hearts. God made our hearts for good work—for putting our hands to the plow and breaking up the unplowed earth beneath our feet. He understands that faith is best preserved when faith is liberally sown. Thus, he’s given each of us a job.
A similar job. We may travel all manners of terrain to get there, may institute a wide variety of regimens to accomplish our goals, but at the end of the day… at the end of this life, our life’s work really boils down to one, main objective.
To know God and then out of that knowing lead others to know the same. (I wrote about that here).
Accordingly, as I look to the New Year and as I have been reflecting on this one job that God has given me, several scriptures (with one overriding theme) have come into focus to serve as my anchor verses for the year. Read them to discover a common thread:
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men….” (Matthew 5:14-16a).
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20a).
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation… And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:16-20).
“Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God game me to present to you the word of God in its fullness.” (Colossians 2:24-25).
“So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).
My “word” and my focus for 2011; not just with any task, but with the high and holy task of telling others the reason behind the hope that I hold in my heart. A weighty assignment for certain, but one that is required of me because of my status as a daughter of the King. I hold a great Truth inside of me. Sharing about Him isn’t an option for any believer. We think that it sometimes is… that sometimes we get a pass because we didn’t go to seminary and get the professional degree or receive official ordination from a committee. But kingdom work of this kind belongs to all of us. It’s simply time for me to get a bit more serious about it all. Wouldn’t you agree?
As I reflect back to my anchor verses for 2010(1 Cor. 6:19-20), I had no idea at the time of my selecting them just exactly what would be required of me to honor them. My body… a temple of the Holy Spirit? Honoring God with my body because I was bought at a price—the very blood of God’s own Son? Have mercy, I imagine it a good thing I didn’t fully grasp the breadth and depth of what that would mean for me on the front side of 2010. It’s only now, standing on the backside of an almost indescribable year of suffering faith that I’m even able to hold a bit of insight along these lines. I imagine I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to make the puzzle pieces fit together neatly, but I am confident that they will… fit. One day… on the backside of my earthly tenure.
Until then, I’m going to be busy with God’s business… with the sacred trust that’s been entrusted to me. No more couch livin’ and ample tears because I’ve handed off the responsibility to someone else. Instead, the clippers are in my hands for the trimming. For the mattering. For the needing. For the belonging to something… Someone bigger than myself. For the only purpose that truly matters on the front side of my living this thing out—
to know God and then out of that knowing, lead others to know the same.
Therefore, I no longer regard anyone from a worldly point of view. I view them from God’s point of view and that, my friends, is a rich perspective from which to anchor a year’s view.
Entrusted. Oh God keep me faithful to the truth I’ve been given. Keep my brothers and sisters as well. As always…
Peace for the journey,