One of the worst (and potentially best) byproducts of the individuality culture of our generation is our inherent belief that we're special. Having any level of digital presence is primarily driven by (1) FOMO and (2) Belief that what we're posting and talking about is something people want to see and hear. After committing to finishing the Bible this year (for the first time in my life, shamefully), an aspect of our faith and how we fit into God's story that has hit me hard is that we can't all be title characters. Statistically speaking, it's far more likely for us to be citizen #4159 passing by Jesus on a donkey going to get bread for my family as opposed to a David or Peter. We always hear about the fight against Goliath and chopping off someone's ear expressing our rage against taking our savior away and project ourselves on to them, but realistically we may not contribute to the Kingdom in ways we conceive to be significant. Of course, this is all in a limited, worldly and over-simplified human perception and distinction of what dictates "significance." The entirety of Christian theology relies on the bedrock that human beings are faulty, we can't do anything without God and He works in ways we can't even put to words. If my entire 23 years of life leads to a single moment, let's say a 5 second conversation with a barista at a Starbucks that butterfly effects its way into her going to church for the first time that Sunday, it is what it is. As someone that inherently believes (often at war with my theological world view) that I am very special, this is a rather hard thing to accept. It's probably one of the most contested and easy to target component of Christianity, often supplemented by questions like "how is God all powerful when he lets babies in Africa die the moment they are born?" "how come God lets missionaries die on the mission field?' While I have no sufficient answer at the moment to put the questions above to bed (a future post is coming), I think my spiritual immaturity leads me to wonder - what is the purpose of any of this if I'm not one of the next main characters? Although I sincerely hope that the sole purpose of my life is not leading up to one conversation, my greater concern is that the strength of my faith is subconsciously dependent on the expectation that God will use me in "great ways." Do we try hard at work expecting a promotion or are we so committed to the firm's mission statement that increasing our salary and ownership of projects doesn't matter as long as we're contributing to the bottom line in any way possible (I sincerely hope that it's the first in regards to your career)? Can I honestly say that my faith does not rely on worldly successes and an expectation that God will use me in ways that I deem "reasonable" in return for my commitment to his kingdom? The very fact that this thought has been lingering and I've been provoked enough to dedicate a blog post to it may be a sign that my faith is not sincere. It could be a reflection on my walk with Him so far and perhaps a contributor of the many ways that Christians in today's day and age are criticized (often quite deservingly). But how can we say we believe in something unless we continue to tackle our beliefs and contest what is taught to us? True belief is only solidified through constant wrestling - while it's important to stand firm in the cornerstones of our world view, we shouldn't be afraid to defend what we "know" to be true. Otherwise, how can we say proudly say we believe anything? I'll be sure to keep everyone updated if I end up being citizen #4159 or the next favorite disciple - either way I'll make myself feel special through this blog.
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