I don’t normally drive in my pyjamas. In fact, it was the first time I’d ever done it. Apparently for some of my friends it’s a regular occurrence, but dropping my teenage daughter off at 6.15am for school camp in my pyjamas was not what I had in mind.
Yes, I could roll off the excuses like, ‘I thought Tony was going to drive her, until the concreter turned up at the door when it was time to leave’, but that doesn’t change the fact that I wasn’t prepared for what was needed.
As I drove, I prayed so hard that I wouldn’t get pulled over by the police or that the car wouldn’t break down before I got home. Thankfully my daughter thought it was funny (as it was her idea) and laughed about it even though I couldn’t help get her luggage out of the car once we arrived at the bus.
Although my flannelette pyjamas were the epitome of comfort on a cold winter’s day, it was not a feeling of comfort that I felt when I stepped out in public in them. My comfortable pyjamas actually restricted me from being of help to others and put a limitation on where I could go.
To be of help, I had to change. I had to put on the clothes that would equip me for the tasks ahead, whatever they may be.
There are many times in life that we miss opportunities because we are not prepared. Sometimes these are due to circumstances that are of no fault of our own and other times it is just a lack of motivation, organisation or even courage.
It is easy to get comfortable. We get into our familiar routines. Day in, day out we know largely what to expect. But sometimes being comfortable can be uncomfortable.
Sure, we may seem to have everything under control and life seems to be smooth-sailing, but deep down there is a nagging that says, “Are you fulfilling the purpose that God has put you on the earth to do?” And although this may make you uncomfortable, finding your purpose brings its own rewards.
Touch of reality
Some people know what their talents are from an early age. For others they may seem hidden and need searching out. Writing a list of things you enjoy can be helpful in identifying what your gifts are. Very soon a picture will develop of who you are and help point you in the right direction.
I did this exercise years ago when I was in the midst of nappies, baby food and prams. It proved to be a great re-focuser. I began to incorporate those strengths or ‘gifts’ into the stage of life that I was in at that time which was being a stay at home Mum, a role I embraced with all my heart.
Amongst other things, I began writing stories to read to my children, I tried new recipes, I applied for courses, and made movies in our back yard with my children as the leading roles. This also fuelled their passions for all things creative. I realised that I didn’t necessarily need to learn something new; rather I needed to develop what I already had.
The training ground of those days was more important than I ever imagined at the time. As my children are growing and my circles of influence increase, I find I am prepared to take on more than I otherwise would have been ready for if I hadn’t identified the things I love.
The seemingly small things are anything but insignificant. Zechariah chapter 4 verse 10 says, “Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They’ll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!”
God has a plan for your life and he has equipped you with everything you need to accomplish it. He foreknew you and predestined a purpose for your life, (Romans 8 verse 29). So if you truly believe that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” (Ephesians 3 verse 20 NIV) then maybe it’s time to be brave and seek God’s will for your life.
‘May God…who put you together, provide you with everything you need to please him, make us into what gives him most pleasure, by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah.’ Hebrews 13 verses 21-22 (The Message)
First published Christian Today Australia 02 September 2014
Also published in Encounter Magazine – Issue 1, 2015
(readership of 370 000)