Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with ordinary people doing extraordinary things with their life. Between the ages of nine and twelve I devoured biographies about Jane Addams, Amelia Earhart, Betsy Ross, Abe Lincoln, Florence Nightingale and George Washington Carver. I read every biography in my elementary school and church library, plus the entire series of Little House books based on Laura Ingals Wilder’s life. I was especially captivated by individuals who came out of physical or financial challenges and overcame the odds to accomplish great things. I was acutely aware I had my own odds stacked against me, being the tenth child in a family of eleven with little financial resource. I would dream about how one day I would do something wonderful for mankind. Perhaps I would be a nurse helping underprivileged children in Africa. I wanted to use whatever my giftedness was to honor the Lord, of course. 🙏
Ah, dreams, there seemed to be just one slight problem. A disconnect between my dreams and reality. I wasn’t very good in school and I lacked drive and discipline. I’m flighty, impulsive, a sprinter, not a long distance runner. I made a few attempts to do better in high school, but the call of ease and socialization drowned out the desire of dreams. I started to let life “happen”. Not intentionality, just random pursuit of fun, interrupted occasionally by a still small Voice whispering words of conviction and a higher calling. I ignored Him.
Life did “happen”, in a manner of speaking. I got a job in high school working for a local dentist. I made a stab at community college part time, but due to my less than stellar performance in high school I had to start with basic coursework and a few classes that should have been labeled, “you did so poorly in high school, you are taking this class again.”
Then I fell in love. One must have priorities and mine was definitely Charles. 😊👍😍 My dream became “get married and have a wonderful life”. Still, I could have continued pursuing the the original dream, but then there was that annoying discipline thing. It wasn’t long after Charles and I got married we moved into hyper have fun drive. For seven years our pursuit of amusement dictated our decisions down a path of marital and spiritual destruction. I’ll spare you the seedy details. Frankly, I’m ashamed. At this point I guess the God of all mercy had enough! He intervened, reached down into the miry pit, pulled Charles and I out and set our feet on solid redemptive ground.
That was 1983, since then we have established a worldwide ministry to orphans giving medical care and the gospel to thousands on three continents. NOT!
Since that time we have been called by God’s grace to pastor a local church in Lutz where we have stumbled and fallen our way through almost 25 years of what some might refer to as ministry. Our longevity is due to the church consisting of the kindest and most forgiving people on the planet. Trust me on that one.
Currently I am working for an orthodontist 30 hours a week doing insurance, billing and seeing a few patients each day. I was sitting at my desk last week contemplating the sovereignty of God, my great dreams of the past and how BORED I was at work. No offense to my co workers or boss I’ve just been doing this for years. Years.
How did I miss it? Why didn’t I pursue God’s great plan for my life? Why was I so undisciplined? In the midst of my lament which was all about me that still small Voice said, “Are you willing to be bored for Me?” What? Whatever good could that accomplish? I have so little time left, why waste it sitting at this desk on hold with insurance companies? Again, the Spirit prompts, “Sure, Debi you have wasted time, resources and opportunity. You have taken paths and engaged in destructive behavior I would have spared you. But here you are. Are you willing to plug away day after day, surrendered, open, listening, obedient to my purposes? Are you willing to love and be light to those around you? Can you be confident I am at work in the midst of the humdrum. Are you willing to be bored for Me?”
Grand and glorious dreams of service for our Savior are to be contemplated and pursued. He is worthy of our highest aspiration and effort. I want to be “Radical” and willing to go to the ends of the earth to serve Jesus. But at the end of the day I want to offer Him – me, on the altar of surrender for whatever and wherever. He is the Potter I am the clay.
His Word says it much better than I.
“But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this? Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”
“And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.”
“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’.