I’ll do anything except
Published 10:12 am Wednesday, February 13, 2019
In Matthew, Jesus gives his followers what is now called The Great Commission. It begins by calling all would be disciples to “Go … “ It’s a seemingly very simple first step, but actually, it’s probably the most difficult for most of us. We are willing to perhaps go and do some things, as long as it’s on our terms and in our time frame.
According to an early church tradition, when Jesus’ followers were deciding their respective missions after his death, resurrection, and ascension, Thomas said he would go anywhere —except to India. Of course, there is a strong indication that is exactly where he went. He was neither the first nor last to tell God he would do anything “except” …
I remember when I was little. My grandmother said, “one of my grandchildren is going to be a minister.” I made the mistake of being the first one to laugh and say “not me.” Well, we see how that worked out. Hahaha.
History and our own experiences are full of examples of God’s sense of humor in this sort of thing. We tell him what we won’t do and find years later that’s exactly what we’ve been called to do. And we — and surely God too — laugh about it. We know he is ruler over the entire universe; he sometimes has to prove to us that he rules and reigns even over our own wills.
Never take your “excepts” seriously. You can have your preferences, but God wants to have the entirety of your heart. He may not call you to go to your most dreaded place or ask you to do your most dreaded task, but he wants complete willingness. Those who submit their wills to him find themselves guided generously and specifically into their unique assignment in life. And, as with Thomas, it’s a genuinely fruitful place. I hope God’s grace will lead you exactly where you need to be — wherever that is for each one of you.
Tim Beck is pastor of Kenbridge United Methodist Church. His email address is revtimbeck@ gmail.com.