One of the blogs I read this morning described a young woman who heard the call of Jesus and went to Uganda for a mission trip, ended up staying there and adopting fourteen orphans.
Wow, did I ever feel like a slob after reading that.
Actually, it fit right in to this new pattern of condemnation I've been moving through lately.
The condemning thought is this-
If Jesus has given you all this overflowing grace and love, why are you giving back so little? Why aren't you moving to Africa and adopting over a dozen orphans? Or giving a Bible study, at the very least?
Or something. Instead of sitting here like a bump on a log, absorbing everything Jesus gives and then wanting more, and worst of all, not becoming perfect to reward Him for His considerable investment.
That's the kind of thinking that keeps coming back to me lately.
When I brought this up to Jesus this morning, feeling desperately guilty, His answer was very simple.
I did not call you to that, He said.
That should be fine, right? But it's not fine. I keep thinking I should be doing more.
What should I be doing, I ask Him. Why aren't I suffering more? Why aren't You asking more from me?
And He turns my heart first to my husband, and to my writing and to the prospect of adoption.
It's so easy to get caught up in this incredibly guilty feeling. But I've been considering the idea that most of Jesus' ministries are small, personal ministries.
They are centered around people's hearts, and homes and conversations and friendships. They are small communities of individual, unique people who were planted in each other's lives for a reason.
Every once in a while, Jesus calls one of us to something visibly extraordinary. But that doesn't seem to be very often.
Most of us seem to live perfectly ordinary lives, but just because they seem to be ordinary does not mean that Jesus is not using them in His own extraordinary way.
Jesus has clearly called me to a certain kind of ministry. Who am I to say to God that it is not enough, that His plan is not perfect, just because I am feeling guilty and envious of someone else's calling?
For some mysterious purpose of His own, Jesus has reached down into my life and lit me up like a torch. I don't know why. I may never know why in this life time.
But I must stay where He asks me to stay and do those things that He has prepared for me to do, even if I think they are very small things. Jesus leads, even on those paths of righteousness.
You know what would happen if I tried to lead? Not much, that's what. I'd burn out, become exhausted, bewildered and lost.
I may not adopt fourteen orphans from Uganda, but it's very likely that I'll adopt one or two from Columbia, if it's according to His plan.