How often do I miss out on the good work God has planned for me to do? It doesn’t take much. A hesitant pause. A bit of fear. Some self-protection. Short on time.
I have a friend named Joy. She lives the most authentic, radically obedient life of anyone I know. Gritty love and a passion for God’s Word—at face value—determines the direction of her days. And get this, she is as ordinary as can be. No super woman here. Nothing intimidating or distracting, just genuine Jesus flowing through her veins, beckoning me, inviting me to allow Him to flow through my life, as well.
She didn’t want to go. A Haiti trip was planned and Joy was supposed to go, but was now feeling a U-turn was in order. She had a slew of good reasons. The list was long and substantial, but her husband, Glen, urged her to follow through on her commitment. The Spirit prompted her, in no uncertain terms, to follow Glen’s lead. “OK. OK!” she bellowed. And then, refusing to pout, sulk or whine, she followed through with gusto.
While there, Joy (plain, ol’ ordinary Joy) ended up playing a critical role in the rescue (the rescue!) of an enslaved child out of the hands of her abusive owner. Amidst thousands of Haitians in a bustling outdoor market, God allowed Joy to cross paths with Taya twice in two days. The second encounter led to her spectacular, miraculous rescue. Today, Taya is safe, reunited with her family and attending a Christian school. Once shackled and abused, this little girl is free, healing and reborn.
We do plenty of good work every day. You, me, and everyone reading this post. We do a truck load of good on a regular basis and I thank God for it all. But I believe the “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” the good work Paul writes about here in Ephesians 2:10, requires a leap of radical obedience and a relationship with the Holy Spirit that is undeniable.
These are the masterpieces and miracles that we, by the grace of God, have been ordained to play a part of as Jesus displays of His glory here on earth.
How often do we miss out? How often does a hesitant response or a morsel of fear set us up to miss out? How often does overload, hurry, and exhaustion short circuit the conduit of God’s love through my life – because I have no time and little margin?
In 1973, a Good Samaritan experiment took place at Princeton Theological Seminary utilizing 67 students. Although the test researched a number of factors, “time and hurry” were being tested. One third of the group were told they were “running late for their presentation.” Another third believed “they were due to speak soon.” And the final third were told they had “plenty of time” before their presentation. Who do you think stopped to assist a man in obvious need on their way to the presentation hall?
- Only 10% experiencing “high hurry”
- 45% experiencing “medium hurry”
- 63% experiencing “low hurry”
The perception of “time and hurry” greatly impacted the response of seminary students. How often does “time and hurry” impact my response to the “masterpieces and miracles” of God’s work on earth?
Creating margin in my life benefits me, no doubt about it, but just think what it could do for the Kingdom of God.