When I began to read Rachel Olsen's third chapter in her book It's No Secret, about the secret power of humility, I first thought that perhaps this one would not be as personal to me as the first two. Really showing my humility there, aren't I? ;-)
I've never wanted to be famous. Never wanted to be rich. Never wanted a big, expensive house or a fancy car or a dress that costs more than a car. Never wished for fancy jewelry or designer jeans (okay, in middle school I wanted the same designer sneakers as everybody else, but I'm over that). Don't want a Smartphone or even a fancy paycheck.
I'm not caught up in the whirlwind of thinking that I deserve those things. I don't have them, I don't deserve them, I don't need them, and I'm okay with that.
Why, then, was this chapter challenging?
I realized within this chapter that while I don't want to be the biggest or best at something, I'm not totally content where I am, either; and if God has put me here, and this is where He wants me, then who am I to want to be anywhere else??
I always dreamed of being a teacher, and eventually, I graduated with my degree and certificate. I taught for four years and then our daughter was born. Suddenly, my dream paled in comparison to that precious baby whom I drove away from early each morning. I didn't want to teach anymore - I wanted to be home with my baby - and after one last year, I quit.
It seemed I suddenly had acquired my new dream, when we found I was pregnant again, and soon our son arrived on the scene. Still happy to be home, I was offered a part-time teaching position and then a volunteer position in our church, and life seemed great. I had lots of time to be with my family and to be teaching a class - and on top of all that, my volunteer position pushed me into organizing events for our church, and I realized I loved that, too. Then suddenly my teaching job and our church home, including the volunteer position, were taken away, and ever since I've felt rather lost.
I'm very, very happy to be home with my family; don't misunderstand me, but I never dreamed I would stay home with a family. I'm happy that God has made it possible for me to be home, but still I thought that I could do some good somewhere else, too.
I haven't considered my home position to be enough.
This chapter made me see this whole issue in a new light. Sure, I'm hurt that none of these things have worked out the way that I thought they would. But really, who am I to question God? There must be some reason He wants me here, and it isn't my place to change that. It's okay for me to have dreams, but I need to be sure that my dreams are in line with God's plans for me - and that they fit in His timing. I get awfully impatient when I get an idea that seems to have arrived via lightening bolt from God Himself, but honestly? Abraham waited for 20 years for a son. The Israelites were in Egypt for nearly 400 years before God liberated them. The Jews waited nearly 2000 years for their Israeli state to be recreated. It's not my job to question His timetable. I'm not Methuselah yet. There's still time - or maybe not. His plans are best.
In reading my Daily Chronological Bible this week, I was stopped by the story of Ruth and Boaz. After they married and their son was born, the neighborhood women blessed him, saying, "May this child be famous in Israel!"
Who was the baby?
His name was Obed - and he was famous throughout Israel. He's still famous throughout Israel, and the entire Judeo-Christian world, I suppose.
What did he do?
He was King David's grandfather.
As far as I know, that's about all we know of the guy. He fathered a man named Jesse, who went on to have lots of sons, the youngest of whom was the shepherd boy David.
If God's chosen blessings upon a man are to make him a father, a family man, which is a very noble cause - then I should embrace that task totally.
That's where my heart has landed this week.
Maybe after this our house will even be a little less dusty. :-)