Chickens and Eggs
So, I remember this quirky commercial from years ago which asked the questions, “How do you get a job without experience, but how do you get experience without a job?” It’s a tongue-in-cheek, classic which-comes-first type of question … and it makes you think. I’d like to ask something similar this week as we continue our journey through 30 Days of Change. Now, before we get started, a reminder that it is not (and is never) too late to begin our 30 Days of Change challenge. Just visit www.242community.com/change to sign up and make the commitment to read your Bible for 30 days and see what kind of change God can author in your life as a result.
How many of you have even been in a place in your life or career where you were completely unsettled and were questioning what to do (maybe you’re there right now)? Those are highly uncomfortable places. We don’t know the answer, but we’re certain the answer isn’t what we’ve got at that moment. We so often stress over external and forward facing questions, and we rarely take a breath and survey what’s right in front of us, or all around us, right where we are. We think life or God needs to move us, or bring something new, before we’ll find the answer. But what if that weren’t true? What if you’re asking the wrong questions?
The answer? a flesh-eating disease
I’d like to share a story with you — one which I hope will gift new eyes as you consider times like this in your life. A story which I believe speaks the truth of finding answers in where God has you right now (in the moment of that “crisis”). I don’t believe these are chicken-and-egg type dilemmas — troubles where you’re not sure whether something’s gotta happen before you find the answer, or you need to find the answer so something will happen. Consider the story of Naaman and his flesh-eating disease.
I encourage you to read the entire story from 2 Kings 5:1-19. I’m not going to tell you the whole story (because it’s important you read it yourself), but suffice it to say Naaman was stuck at a spot in life because of a case of leprosy. Through the challenge of a young woman, God invited Naaman to a higher purpose He had authored for his life, and Naaman learned the thing he already had (his leprosy) was the key to it. He thought leprosy would prevent him from any future purpose, but, in fact, his future purpose had everything to do with his leprosy.
I believe this is true in your own life. I believe God has you where you are for a purpose, and that your purpose is not necessarily “out there” somewhere to find, but rather might be found right where you currently are (or in that moment of “crisis”).
The wrong and right questions
So here are a few of the wrong questions to ask in your moment of a “crisis” of purpose, followed by some better questions you can begin to ask:
- What makes me happy?
- What am I good at?
- Where do I see myself in 5 years?
These seem like harmless, useful questions when trying to find purpose, but they lead to a self-centered place — a place where God’s purposes are obscured by “answers” that makes sense to us, but are not from Him. So, what should we be asking?
- Who is in my home?
- Who do I know?
- What do I do?
These questions are asked in the present, in the details of your right here and right now. I believe in crisis’ of purpose, we need to acknowledge where God has us and what He has given us and stop looking outward and forward to places and things we’re not. If God authors a genuine discomfort in you and begins moving you in some new direction, by all means, obey that leading. I’m not the authority here. I am not saying that there isn’t a new purpose “out there” for you. God is the authority. Seek Him by reading His word. Seek Him by talking to Him in prayer. He will answer. Maybe not in the way you hope or expect, maybe not on the timetable that you hope or expect, but He will answer.