October 12, 2005
In my early years of public ministry, I had a secret dream to accomplish something that I came to know was outside the possible. A close friend shared the same dream, and he fulfilled that dream. Shadowed by his public success, I for a while equated my inconspicuous calling with being less important to God. Immature? Yes, but spiritual maturity is not always connected to age.
James and John, insecure that when the kingdom arrived, they would be positioned below their expectations, asked Jesus for prime seating: one at his left hand and one at his right hand—Executive VP positions. Seems so foolish these centuries later. Was it that they wanted to be senior execs, or to be noticed by Jesus?
I need to be noticed. Not for a sense of significance—although that too is important—but for one important reason: If I don’t feel God in my life and circumstance, I feel ministry slipping away.
As one in leadership, I need affirmation of both his calling and active presence. We have so many reasons to know of our Lord's careful watch in our lives, but like any other relationship, unless we feel a regular touch of love, we may wonder, "Do I still have his attention?"
God of Creation, you who spun planets into orbit, help me to see reminders that you care about my life and work. May I more carefully do all for your glory and approval—and not for notice or praise by friends and colleagues. I'm thankful that you love and see not just me, but all us "me's" whom you lovingly link together as your kingdom witness. Amen.
"The only serious mistake we can make when illness comes, when anxiety threatens, when conflict disturbs our relationship with others is to conclude that God has gotten bored in looking after us and has shifted his attention to a more exciting Christian, or that God has become disgusted with our meandering obedience and decided to let us fend for ourselves for a while, or that God has gotten too busy fulfilling prophecy in the Middle East to take time now to sort out the complicated mess we have gotten ourselves into. That is the only serious mistake we can make."