Discipleship is all about a balance of action/engagement/leadership and patience/obedience/"followship". Each of us knows that if we truly accept the call to serve we are also setting aside our desire to be completely in control. That is easier said than done.
As today's lesson from Acts reminded us (also addressed in Pastor Randy's sermon) life often takes a turn or a twist that is outside of our hopes or expectations. The two men, Matthias and Justus, were equally qualified to serve in the core "12" of Jesus' disciples. The lot fell in favor of Matthias, and Justus went on his way. Yet we never hear another word about either of them.
So from our perspective, Matthias is no more important than Justus, right? Still, in the moment of choosing, Justus may have felt that his potential was suddenly dramatically less than that of Matthias.
Imagine Matthias being welcomed into the inner circle. Imagine Justus walking away from the gathering. One was thinking: Wow! now I am on my way!!!!
Or perhaps, just perhaps, BOTH of them were thinking those words. After all, we will never know how either man's story unfolded.
It is important to remember that God has something for EACH of us to do in God's name. There is no such thing as an inconsequential act of Christian Service. Everybody has a "call". Prestige or status are not the determining factor when it comes to effective discipleship. It is all about trust that as long as we are showing up each day and saying "Use me, Lord", it will be so!
But we can't decide for ourselves the specific place or relationship where we are to be utilized. Our plans and hopes need to be open and flexible, specific ONLY in terms of being rooted in Christ. That hope will most certainly unfold. All others may be subject to events as random as "casting lots."
Not all of our hopes will be fulfilled. We won't always be chosen to serve in the place or the role we had anticipated. If we stay focused upon the hope that DID NOT unfold, we become deaf and blind to the potential that IS in place.
For your reflection.
Have you ever been passed "by" when you have offered to serve the church?
Did you continue to say "yes" to the call to serve?
What opportunities did you discover that were not connected to the position or role that you did NOT get?