by Jennifer Slattery @JenSlattery
Sometimes our greatest assignments, the steps towards our calling, come during the most mundane activities. And I wonder if the converse might be true as well. Is it possible to miss an amazing, God orchestrated opportunity when we’re focused only on chasing after something we believe will be amazing?
I never wanted to be a writer or speaker. It wasn’t that I was opposed to doing that; I just never considered it. I thought I was going to be a teacher. So I started attending college. I also began serving in my local church, mostly where I saw a need.
When our daughter was young, we lived in Southern California and were active in our church. We covered childcare for the Friday service. I soon began writing curriculum, sometimes that never got used, other times used for a season. I also wrote dramas, parent newsletters, and short story snippets. Rarely did anyone beyond the person I served under know I’d written it. But God knew. And He was working in and through me to grow me and lead me to where I am today. In fact, God used those activities and experiences to awaken my love for writing.
I’ve experienced opposite scenarios as well. I sensed God nudging me to launch Wholly Loved Ministries for at least two years before I finally responded. I felt I was too busy with my writing and the activities I found most important. I never hit pause long enough to truly seek God’s will in how He wanted me to spend and prioritize my time. I was too busy moving ahead.
I became overly focused on my career and under-focused on my Savior, who wanted to be my power source, faithful guide, and stabilizer. As a result, my stress and anxiety levels grew, as did feelings of discouragement and disillusionment.
Eventually, out of mercy, God intervened and put a halt on my publishing career for a time. It was long enough for me to launch my ministry and for Him to purge and realign my heart.
Back then, it felt a bit like death, but in reality, God was restoring life to what had become diseased.
Jesus said “”Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10, NIV). Those who are faithful in the little things will also be faithful in the big things. This means those who work behind the scenes, who show up every Sunday, who do what needs to be done regardless of who else knows or sees, will also be faithful in the big and glorious tasks. Perhaps that’s because their heart won’t be in the recognition, but in glorifying their Savior. For them in is about God’s agenda and glory—and not theirs.
We see this throughout Scripture. Moses, an orphaned baby turned Egyptian prince, turned fugitive, turned liberator, received God’s call while watching sheep (Exodus 3), a mundane and largely thankless job. God called the ancient prophet Elisha, while he was working in a field (1 Kings 19:19-21). God anointed Saul, Israel’s first king, to leadership, while he and a servant engaged in a three-day journey in search of a donkey (1 Samuel 9-10). Then there was Joseph, a braggart teen who received a God-sized dream but was “discovered” while faithfully serving as an imprisoned slave (Gen. 37-41).
I could go on. The Bible is filled with men and women who were called to amazing and history-changing assignments while performing mundane tasks.
May we all learn from their humble examples.
Everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made. Isaiah 43:7 NASB
About the author: Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Hometown Healing and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team love to help women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. Visit her online to find out more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event, and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE to learn of her future appearances, projects, and releases.
Join the conversation: Can you share a time when God redirected you off of an obsession and onto Him? What was the result?