Some time ago, when I had to have some oral surgery done, I was sitting in the doctor's office filling out some forms. When I got to the section that asked for my occupation, I paused for a moment, and decided to do something different. I usually just wrote in these spaces something like, "homemaker" or "full-time volunteer". But on this particular day, I decided to conduct a little experiment. I left the space blank. As I was sitting in the dentist's chair, with the doctor holding his instruments in midair over my head, I could see that he wanted to ask me something. After a long pause, he finally said, "So, what IS it that you do?"
Over the years, it has saddened me, and even frustrated me, how much emphasis people put on what I do for a living. I was a stay-at-home mom for more than 20 years, and I eventually became very weary with the responses I would get from people when they found out that I didn't have a job or title that impressed them. To keep from becoming hopelessly discouraged, I had to remind myself often that I was doing exactly what God had called me to do, and He was pleased with me. Now that I have a different "role" in life, I'm still amazed at how people react when I tell them what I do, but for an entirely different reason.
During World War II, my dad was in the Air Force, and in his later years, he attended his unit's annual reunions. He didn't like telling his former Air Force buddies what he did for a living, because he had learned over the years that people often treated him differently when he did. My father was one of the very few soldiers to go to college and get a degree after the war. He eventually became an accountant, and even a CPA, working for a prestigious company in New York City. It didn't take long for my dad to discover that many people were not only impressed by his occupation, but they were intimidated by it.
I recently had to report for jury duty, and afterwards, my mother wanted me to fill her in on all the details. "Did the people there know that they were in the presence of a published author?" she asked me lightheartedly. When I told my mom that I didn't let anyone know that I was a writer that day, she was somewhat disappointed. I explained to her how some folks treat me differently, once they find out what I do. I can still recall when I gave a neighbor of mine one of my books, at the Lord's leading. She was visibly stunned, and she declared, "I can hardly write my name, let alone a book!" And she has treated me differently ever since.
I think it's sad that, generally speaking, people are impressed - and even intimidated - by titles and jobs they deem important. But they place little value on those that have little significance in the eyes of the world. Thankfully, our Lord sees things differently. Jesus once told the Pharisees: "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight." (Luke 16:15 NIV) God is not impressed by fancy titles or jobs. He's impressed by our faith in Him, and by our heartfelt desire to please and glorify Him.
Scripture says: "For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]." (Ephesians 2:10 AMP) The Lord has unique and specific plans for the life of every believer, and as we choose to walk in those paths that He has ordained for us, we will be able to live the "good life" that He has called us to, whether or not impressive tasks or titles are involved. The Bible tells us that, "Our goal is to measure up to God's plan for us." (2 Corinthians 10:13 TLB) Don't worry about measuring up to the world's standards. It can't be done. Instead, focus on becoming all that God created you to be, and live the life of purpose, joy, and abundance that belongs to you in Christ!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times I have tried to measure up to the world's standards. Change my heart and my focus, so that from now on, I will concentrate on pleasing You, and becoming all You have called me to be. I ask that You not only guard me from pride, but from feeling inferior and insecure, too. Thank You that as I pursue Your plans for my life with passion, I will reap the untold blessings and rewards You have in store for me!
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