Do you wish you had a different job? Do you think you are uniquely qualified – maybe even called by God! – to do something else?
You’re not alone.
I know, lots of people feel this way. What’s the big deal?
Here’s the big deal. Did you know that the Apostle Paul – arguably the most effective New Testament figure – likely had these same thoughts?
Check this out.
In Acts Chapter 22, Paul tells how he first responded when God told him he was going to be sent away to the Gentiles.
God: “Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.”
Paul: “These people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.”
Paul was probably thinking to himself: Wait a minute, I’m uniquely cut out to work in Jerusalem, remember? After all, I have been an insider. I know the ropes. I understand the culture. I have even walked in the shoes of those who persecute Christians. I can make a difference right here! I’m the guy to do it.
God’s response? “Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.”
Did God forget about Paul’s resume?
After all, why would God send a highly-qualified insider out of his home territory to a place where he has nothing in common with the culture, geography, or religion of the people?
It’s like sending someone who has worked his way up Wall Street to run a soda pop stand in Ohio.
It’s like sending a Republican to Berkley.
It’s like sending a surfer dude to the desert.
It’s like sending Pastor Eric from the Ivy League to North Dakota (and then to Ohio!)
You get the point.
Maybe you’ve even told God, “Hey, you must have made a mistake here. I’m meant to do something much more important. What about my resume?”
I’ve even wondered, does God just like to mess with us? Does he like to pull a fish out of water?
Or, like Paul, could it be that he has something bigger – maybe something even BETTER – for our futures?
[This post was inspired by Pastor Eric’s 8/28/11 sermon at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church. You can download it here.]