Lord, I’ll do whatever you want (as long as it’s important).
When I was in high school I really thought I would end up going on the mission field. I thought I would move overseas and take the world by storm. I often prayed and told the Lord that I would go anywhere and do anything (except stay in America and help in a boring local church). I wanted to do big things for God. But that was just the problem–I only wanted to do big things. I wanted to do important, life-changing work…not just sit in the pew of a local church and help with the nursery or children’s church or other unexciting, “unimportant” stuff like that.
It’s kind of ironic, but it was much harder for me to be willing to stay in America and live a quiet comfortable life just working and doing normal things than it ever was to surrender to foreign missions and all the dangers and inconveniences that missions entail. Looking back, I see that my desire to do big things for God wasn’t even about God–it was about me. It was about me feeling important and me getting attention and fulfillment. The test was not whether I was willing to give my life to missions; it was whether I was willing to give my life to the quiet, unnoticed work before me. Will I be willing to work a normal job and take care of our home? Will I be satisfied and content if my life’s work is making dinner and doing behind the scenes work at a small local church? If I’m not satisfied with the small, unnoticed tasks before me, then I’m not doing any task for the right reason. If my motivation is to get attention or to feel important, then I’m not really serving God even if I am noticed.
The same is true with my writing. I often think that if my writing doesn’t get attention then it’s worthless. But is that really what it’s about? WordPress has this handy little stat bar that lets you see when someone visits your site or clicks on something you wrote. This bar is a great help in gaging what topics interest people and such but I can get obsessed with the silly little thing. After I’ve published something, I’m bad about coming back to the computer every few minutes to see if my stats have gone up and to see if anyone is commenting on or liking what I’ve written. I get carried away with the numbers–the attention and the sense of importance. If I’m writing what’s on my heart with the intention of glorifying God and encouraging others, then stats shouldn’t matter one bit. If something I write encourages just one person and no one else even looks at it then I should be satisfied to know that God has accomplished what he intended and it doesn’t matter how popular I do or don’t get in the process.
The truth is, no matter what the stats look like on a little bar, I will never really know the impact of my life or my writing–and it doesn’t matter. My job is simply to be faithful in doing what’s before me. The impact of what I do is fully in the hands of God. If God wants to use me, he can–but he certainly doesn’t have to. Truth be told, God doesn’t need our help in accomplishing his work. It is a gift to us that God ever chooses to use us. So if God gives me a small, seemingly unimportant task, I should do it happily, faithfully, and with a sense of honor. Who am I to complain about importance when it really should be such a humbling honor that God ever chooses to include me in his creative work?