2 Timothy 2:1-7 (The Message) So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain.
My senior year of high school I owned and drove a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T and let me tell you, that car would fly (not literally. just fast) !!! At my high school you could pull out of the student parking to the right and it was slighty up hill with very slick pavement. So some (me) would turn right and "smoke" the tires by spinning them. My Charger had a 440 cu. engine and it was tuned for power and racing. So when I poured on the power, I easily smoked my tires. One day I thought "I'm not gonna smoke my tires today. I am going to drive out and go slow and steady up the hill." Everyone knew I could smoke my tires and expected that from me. But that day I slowly proceeded up the hill with no tire spin and just let all know "I could if i wanted to." It was very empowering and I didn't have to "show off" my big engine. I could just be cool about it because they knew what I had under my hood. It was the unexpected that changed the element of cool.
In our lives we have things we are expected to do and after a while it becomes just a repetitious exercise with not much meaning or cool. We let ourselves become molded into doing what everyone expects us to do and that can be very confining, but also very easy when it comes to living. Paul wrote to Timothy about not gettintg caught up in what is going on in the marketplace, but be "original." Psalm 139:1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Keep in mind that God made each of us unique and very "original" and we should not let the world put us in a box in which we don't belong. Jesus continually shared about our uniqueness in the way He led the diverse group of disciples on their life paths. Jesus knew the way Simon Peter reacted to everyone he met and yet He built His church on the rock of faith known as Peter. Jesus knew the betrayers heart of Judas and yet He still loved him and did not withhold that love from him. Jesus knew the tender, but strong commitment of Stephen's heart to proclaim the message from a love no would could understand. Jesus knew the hope to the Gentiles that Saul would pour his life into sharing and met him in the midst of killing Christians and changed His life. So many more, who were so unique, so wonderfully made for service to the King. All important because God made them that way and when the Holy Spirit entered their hearts their lights came on and the rest is the history we read every day in the Bible.
Each of us have such a wonderful opportunity to present our uniqueness as an offering to God. You might call it "giving it back" to the one who has given it to us. That is our way of worshipping our creator, our Lord. Paul wrote this in 2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Don't let this giving be limited to money or resources, but broaden it to your whole life purpose. Don't let "Christian" habits make you more religious than relational and thus spin your wheels for show, and no God!! Just move forward steady on and all will see where you get your steadiness from and they will know that Jesus is the source of your power for living your life and they will marvel at God, not us. Anything less is just "spinning your wheels." Paul wanted Timothy to be faithful and steady in everything he was doing and part of that steady was not getting caught up in the world's way of doing things, even though He could have done that very thing. No, no. Let the unique you be a person who is willing to go against the current of the world and present the gospel of Jesus Christ through the "unique" YOU!! There is no other you but you!! Be that person and be the person Jesus called out to when you accepted Him by faith. With the Holy Spirit as your power source you are all you need to be and the value God has placed on your steadiness in the faith is more than you will ever know. Quit spinning your wheels trying to please the world and just be the person God made you to be. And then CHARGE ON!!!
The Pilgrimage Continues....