Friday, May 08, 2020

"Stick to the Assignment"

Acts 6.2b, 4 “The Message”

“It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities… we’ll stick to our assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God’s Word.”

There are many good things to do in life; an abundance of noble causes, professions, and service opportunities. Of course, I cannot do them all. I must limit myself and do only that to which I am called. 

When my daughter Rachel was four years old, she was fond of saying, “When I grow up, I’m going to do everything and be everything.” At a minimum, I understood she would have a spacious home on a ranch with vast acreage where she would care for her aging mother and me. She would own horses and teach us all to ride. I enthusiastically entered the dream with Rachel and imagined myself enjoying long rides on a gentle and gallant steed trotting into the sunset of my golden years with my wife, Rachel (and her rich husband) by my side. I delighted in my little girl’s innocent and (what she thought was a) fully achievable ambition to “do everything and be everything.”

Sadly, Rachel’s idealism lessened with time. At the ripe age of eighteen, my youngest child is already more realistic than I wish she was. She no longer believes she will “do and be everything.” At ten she wanted to be a veterinarian and “take care of animals.” Now she is content to work at Nothing Bunt Cakes, take care of her beloved Aussie Doodle, get outstanding grades in school, giggle with her friends, and prepare for her first year at the University of Oregon. I am proud of her.

Lofty goals are attainable, but no one, not even Rachel, can “do everything and be everything.” Life’s way too short and humans are far too limited. With age, we (normally) earn enough wisdom to temper (hopefully, only slightly) our idealism and accept the limitations of time, space, and purpose. 

The early apostles were extremely aware of the limitations imposed by their calling. They resolved to ‘stick to their assignment’ of prayer and preaching. The church leaders argued, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables” (Acts 6.2). The congregation would select deacons to ensure fair treatment of widows among the Hellenistic Jewish converts in the daily rationing of food. As for the apostles, they would limit themselves to their “assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God’s Word.”

Should every follower of Christ strive for an apostolic expression of faith and focus exclusively on prayer and preaching? Not at all. Each person of faith is charged with the responsibility of discovering God’s specific will and must stick to the “assigned tasks,” whatever those may be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice looking blog Dave, I don't know where you find the time to keep up with all the things you are involved with...