I wonder sometimes if the BIG thing that we feel our individual life is supposed to be about... is actually our human interpretation of God's THE big thing that we're collectively being drawn towards to en masse. I'm afraid too many find themselves as actually happy peaceful, working husbands and fathers... only to wrongly be haunted by inadequacy because they're not living the life they're afraid others are leading in Convertible Commercials, Leadership Books, and YouTube videos.
Donald Miller from "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years":
"It's interesting that in the Bible, in the book of Ecclesiastes, the only practical advice given about living a meaningful life is to find a job you like, enjoy your marriage, and obey God. It's as though God is saying, 'Write a good story, take somebody with you, and let me help you'.
I don't ever want to go back to believing life is meaningless. I know there are biochemical causes for some forms of depression, but I wish people who struggle against dark thoughts would risk their hopes on living a good story-- by that I mean finding a team of people doing hard work for a noble cause, and joining them. I think they'd be surprised at how soon their sad thoughts would dissipate, if for no other reason than they didn't have the time to think them anymore. There would be too much work to do, too many scenes to write."
My young friends just got back from serving the poor in India. They made some very astute comments to me Friday night as we met and ate together in my living room... knowing that the dirty streets and cramped living quarters were now half a world away. To paraphrase...
"Real Ministry is nothing like the Hillsongs YouTube videos with the song playing in the background. There's nothing really sexy about it at all. You fail more than you succeed. It's putting your money where your mouth is and just doing work"
Facebook status's of young 'passionate' discontents who wax (or whine) philosophic about the BIG dreams in their hearts while failing work, honor, or get dirty where they are ACTUALLY planted... tell the story of The Devil's 'Long Con' when it comes to our lives and destinies.
God's Dream... is peace. Contentedness. Thankfulness for provision. These are a couple of very telling, if somewhat unsexy verses in Bible:
"...make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands..."
1 Thessalonians 4:11
Then in 1 Timothy 2 in the context of why we should pray for our leaders to prosper...
"... that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth"
"Ministry" is about us working to help others ALSO live the quiet, peaceful, prosperous in Godliness lives that we've been given as a gift too. This is not an insignificant truth to be taken lightly. Living a life of working hard and sleeping well shouldn't be leaving so many feeling unsettled and second rate. That's the opposite of what the gift is for, and trust me, MANY in our land ache for this gift.
In the process there will be adventures carved out for noble middle aged Canadian men ready to do battle on their own private gridiron. This is where the story of our lives are told as we choose to live them out. But we can never forget that Urban Canada will not look like a Braveheart battlefield but is no less of a Missionfield. At the end of both, the victors and heroes come home tired from a day of WORK work and rest, contented by the glow of the fire... loving wife by their side... taking satisfaction in having their kids fed and greater hope on ahead... wishing the war would just be over so we could all have peace.
This is ALL of us. I think the BIG thing we all feel... is this. This IS big.