Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Distributing the Loaves and Fish

I was looking at the passage in Luke where Jesus feeds the five thousand. And something different about the passage struck me tonight. In Luke 9:16, it says that Jesus blesses the five loaves and two fish and then He gives "them to the disciples to set before the crowd." Here's my thing. This is Jesus we're talking about. You know, God's son. If He had wanted bread to rain down from Heaven for all the people to eat, that could have happened. He could have done many things to get the food to all the people, but He chose to use the disciples to distribute the food to the hungry masses.
I wonder if this task seemed overwhelming and yet mundane to the disciples... It doesn't say how it felt to them, but I think it would feel a little mundane or a little...I can't think of the word... Here's the thing, the miracle of making five loaves and two fish into enough for five thousand people has been done. The distributing is all that's left. And maybe to the disciples it seemed like it would be easier if God just "snapped his fingers" and put the bread in front of the hungry people. But He didn't. He chose to use the disciples to glorify Himself.
I think so often I get frustrated because I don't see how the little things are a part of furthering God's kingdom, but if God is trying to use me today to "distribute five loaves and two fishes" then maybe I ought to be honored to be used, instead of frustrated that what I am called to do doesn't seem important or "big" enough.
But at the same time, I think it's also imporant to remember that had it not been for Jesus' miracle, the disciples would not have had any food to pass out to the people. We are wholly and completely dependent on God but not vice versa. In other words, God doesn't have to use us. He chooses to. And without His perfect plan, without His help, without His guidance we would be unable to do the things we do. Casting Crowns has a song that says:
If You ask me to leap out of my boat onto crashing waves,
And if You ask me to go preach to a lost world that Jesus saves,
Well I'll go but I cannot go alone,
'Cause I know I'm nothing on my own,
But the power of Christ in me makes me strong. Makes me strong...
How refreshing to know You don't need me,
How amazing to find that You want me.
So I'll stand on Your truth and I'll fight with Your strength
Until You bring the victory, by the power of Christ in me.

This song exemplifies a few things.
1) A willingness to serve, follow and obey.
2) An acknowledgement that without Jesus we are incapable, inadequate
3) An acknowledgement that with Jesus, we are strong, capable, etc.
4) A reiteration of the fact that God does not need us for His will to be done, but He chooses to use us
5) A declaration of the fact that even with willingness, we must rely on God in everything we do.

So even in the mundane, God is at work. God can and will use me if I am willing and I humble myself enough to realize that the little things I do are important and that God is moving in and through me. I like that, even if it's hard to live out sometimes.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Macaroni Soup

It's hard for me sometimes to not get bogged down in the mundane. Life just feels kind of empty, and yet I run myself ragged on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy. I'm just... devoid of something.

I look around my room tonight and wonder...
-Why it's midnight and I still haven't eaten dinner...
-When I'll have time to do laundry
-When my room got to be such a mess
-Why I still have homework to do
-Why I don't see my friends as often as I'd like
-Why I feel so... empty.

And I realize that today was a busy day. I went to both services at church and then spent an hour after the second service talking to people and waiting to chat with the pastor and ask him the hundred burning questions I had. And then a few of us went to lunch. And that was nice. And then Laura Jo and I sat in the grass on-campus and talked... about everything... about nothing. And that was WONDERFUL. And then I took a forty-five minute nap... a much-needed nap. And then there was the CA mandatory meeting (it's called an in-service). And then I did do homework, I did, but by this time it was 7:15pm. And at 8:30 I had a leadership meeting for InterVarsity. And then I had stuff come up on my hall that needed to be dealt with. Maybe I need a 28 hour day... but probably, I would fill that up too. Probably, there would still be things that went unaddressed.

And yet for all the running around I do, for all the work that I am able to complete in a day, a week, a month, I still feel like I'm not doing anything significant. I guess I want to make a difference. I want to do something. I want to affect change. I want to fulfill my purpose in life. I want to be able to look back on my life and be happy with who I was, what I tried to accomplish.
So tonight, I made "macaroni soup" (easy mac with a little too much water); I worked on homework, talked to friends online, and realized (again) that God is in the mundane. He works in us and through us regardless of what we are doing in life, whether it's being a CA or being a friend, whether it's when we're having a cup of coffee with someone or whether we're babysitting; whatever we do, we do unto Him. And I guess I need to be more willing to be used even in the places I don't feel like God can use me.