This all started with summer. Like most teachers I look forward to getting AWAY from students during the summer and relaxing. Tough to do when you have two teenagers at home. Still I was determined to rest this summer. No kids, no sirree, not for me.
Then then I felt that nudge to help out at church with VBS. How could I say no? I had just returned from working with children in Cambodia, how could I possibly say no to those right here at home? So I volunteered. The leaders said "Great, all you'll have to do is..." By the way, when someone says "all you have to do" - it means you have to do it all! Seriously, it wasn't that bad, but I found myself in charge of teaching the daily Bible story and it was pretty complicated remembering a different story each day and trying to find way to make it come alive!
Next, I found myself headed off to camp with 3 other adults and 32 kids. "All I had to do"..... all I had to do this time was help watch over them on the trip there and back and have fun with them while they were there. It was good to be able to just watch the kids have fun without having to plan it all.
Now, I find myself about to embark on a week-long day camp for some "inner-city" girls. I saw a friend's post about needing someone to head up this endeavor for a week this summer. Again, I was struck with the thought of the children we met with Hard Places Ministry in Cambodia. Here I was begin presented with girls in my own town who struggle in their own "hard places." I wrestled with it for a while and then decided to just "ask" - after all, they wouldn't possibly choose me.
What was I thinking? I kept asking God to send someone else, but no one else came. (For someone who is taking the summer off from kids, I sure am spending a lot of time with them!)
All this got me to asking "why me?" I began thinking about those whom God chooses to use. Immediately Moses came to mind, then Gideon. Like any good teacher, I wanted a third example....and what I got was me. So here goes. Here's my random thoughts on Moses, Gideon and me.
I was certain in all this, that God wouldn't choose me. I can give an entire list of reasons why. To begin with, I'm terribly unorganized. Great at starting things but not so great at finishing. I have absolutely no confidence in my own abilities. I have no real talent except maybe making people laugh....sometimes with me, sometimes at me. I'm pretty much a loner. I'm not as young as I used to be. The list goes on and on.
I wonder if Moses felt this way? (No, I'm in no way comparing myself to Moses, but I find comfort in knowing that GREAT leaders sometimes struggled like I do.) Moses had blown it. He'd had lots of opportunities and messed up big time. It's that whole, great start but lousy finish thing. Now he was getting on up in years (about 80 I think) and God tells him that he's going to be a leader. Yeah, right. Sheep maybe, but people??? Moses tried to talk God into sending someone else (sounds like me). His confidence in his own ability was zero...so God sent along some support....but God didn't change His mind about Moses.
Then there was Gideon...least of his brethren. A real nobody from nowhere. He wasn't a doctor or lawyer or business leader or person on influence...he was just Gideon. Like Gideon, I feel like a nobody. I'm just a teacher, and not an extraordinary one at that. I've never been teacher of the year or national board certified or published or anything important. Not sure why I feel that "just a teacher" isn't that big of a deal, but I know it's a common struggle among my profession. I have a friend who struggled because he/she felt looked down on in the family. This person has a sibling who became a doctor and yet he/she had chosen education, as if that were less of a calling. You know, in the Bible, you don't see doctors or lawyers or politicians held to a higher standard - teachers are! (Whoops...started chasing a squirrel there. Sorry.) Still, God didn't change His mind about Gideon.
Gideon and Moses both wondered why would anyone listen to them! They asked God to send someone else. They doubted their own ability (and perhaps God's judgment in choosing them!) I wonder if they started listing all the people who would do a MUCH better job at this than them. Yeah, I totally did that.
Moses, Gideon....me? Did they ask God if He was sure about this like I have done? Did they stop and think, like me, that this is crazy? Surely there is someone who can do a better job! Did they, in moments of panic, think of backing out? Did God do with them as He is doing with me, reassuring that He knows what He's doing. Reminding them that He chooses the flawed, the weak, the cowardly to show Himself strong. That way, no one can get the glory other than Him.
Why me? I don't know. Maybe no one else was available. Maybe no one else was listening. Maybe God sees something I don't see. For whatever reason...this time it's "why not me?"
And why not you?
1 Corinthians 1:26 - 31 (Msg)
26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”