Understanding and not doing is not true understanding.
While sitting quietly last night the above thought came into my mind. I know that I had heard that phrase somewhere before, but I cannot remember where. That does not matter though. What does matter is the meaning behind it.
When faced with proverbs, Bible verses, quotes, or other sayings, we may understand the meaning behind them, but if we do not take it to heart and put it into practice then we do not truly understand.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention that I love quotes, sayings and proverbs regardless of what belief system they come from, as long as they do not go against what is written in God’s word.
At this point this Zen-Buddhist proverb entered my mind:
It is better to sit all night than to go to bed with a dragon.
In combination with the the first thought I began to think “What are my dragons? What am I holding in my heart that is eating away at me?”
Amongst other things (which I dealt with individually), I found that one of my key dragons is that I feel as though I need to get out there and lead other people to God, but I have no idea how to do it with my talents.
The problem with that is that my skills are limited. I am not a skilled musician or singer, so that crosses out one ministry. I am awkward around small children, so that crosses out another ministry. I actually feel uncomfortable around people and have great difficulty forming friendships. Those that I do form I fail to maintain for very long. So actually any form of ministry involving direct contact with people is crossed out.
So what are my known talents? The ability to think logically, which results in the ability to enjoy programming and actually be good at it. Once I get into writing a computer program I actually find it fun (getting started is the problem).
How can I use this talent to further God’s kingdom? I had no idea, then I read this Bible verse:
“God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
~ 2 Corinthians 9:8
I began meditating on the meaning of that verse, seeking a greater understanding of it. I like to think with proverbs and parables since they allow me to form a deeper meaning and understanding of the world around me. Last night I had the verse backwards. I thought that “A healthy tree bears plenty of fruit which feeds many”. But rather it is “A person with plenty is better equipped to maintain an orchard.” Even though my understanding of the verse was incorrect last night, it took my thoughts along the path that God wanted them to take.
If I were to pick the right tree (the right good work), pour everything into it, God will allow it to grow and provide plenty of fruit that can fee many. So the question was again, using my talents, what did God intend for me to do to further his kingdom here on earth.
That is when I felt my calling, beyond any doubt. It excited me. I knew in an instant what God wanted me to do, what he had brought me into the world to do. I wrote this in my journal last night, as I wrote it, I knew what I had to do:
“What if your calling is into a career that will earn money so you can support those who have talents that will further God’s kingdom?”
Is God’s calling for me to simply to live a Christian life to the best of my ability, work with my hands and mind, and earn money that I can pour back into God's kingdom? The stunning answer to that was “At the moment, yes!” After reading all the stories about radical believers who give up everything to preach God’s word at all costs, sometimes dying for their faith, God simply wants me to live a Christian life, earning money that can be used to allow these radical believers to continue doing what they are doing? YES Could it really be that simple? YES.
A person with plenty is better equipped to maintain an orchard.
I urge you to look deep within yourself, spend time with God, meditate on his word, and allow him to show you his calling for your life. Once you know what he wants you to do, even if it is only a temporary “To Do” and you start doing it, you will feel more fulfilled than ever before.