I know, I know…what’s so special about my story?
Well, I’m a former teacher, youth mentor, worship leader, veteran, single, envelope-pusher, introverted extrovert, child of divorce, former depression battler, and (one day, I hope) author…
But none of that matters as much as my status as a lump of clay. Held in a Potter’s hands, molded and shaped.
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to admire the product. The thing about clay: it can become a ceramic worthy of the ancient Czechs, or something that looks like it emerged from a random preschool. I’ve not led villages to Christ (yet) or made millions rollerblading off cliffs. It’d be a little ridiculous to fit a swelling, austere movie theme to my life. I’m an relatively unknown, ordinary citizen.
But I know the story’s significant because of Who wrote it. A parent loves that preschool masterpiece, frames it somewhere in the house and brags about it to the neighborhood. There wasn’t much special about the stones that David picked for his sling, or the water in which Naaman bathed, or in the “loser” from the tribe of Manasseh that God recruited to deliver his people. Most of God’s recruits, frankly, were messed-up people. Yet this is the kind of person God chooses to go after.
So, I will tell my story. Not to glorify myself, but to glorify the one Who’s writing it.
And because it could be good news for my generation.
“Millennial” (n.): An individual born from 1982-2004.
I once heard a speaker say, “I believe the healing God wants to do in this generation is emotional.” I believe him. Things have not gone well. We’re searching for meaning, for a cause, for assurance that this is all going somewhere beyond the endless debt-grind and Netflix sessions and date-swiping. We’re searching, in a word, for rescue. Restoration. And, I would venture to say, we want to know that we are loved, that we are known.
The millennial generation has lost the God of the Bible. We already know the world would hide him from us. Empty religion has done the same – indolence, half-baked and wishful teaching, fear and anger. We end up with, in the words of George MacDonald, “…a false Christ, hard to exorcise!”
God, however, is coming after us. I’m learning the gap between parched and peaceful, between life that “looks spiritual” and life where Jesus really dwells, between an empty suit in a pew and a man who has clearly “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
“Everyone who drinks from this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13)
Doesn’t that sound amazing?
There’s going to be a cost, though. That’s how you know it’s real. Too much of the average Christian’s energy is spent subtly haggling with God, and I am the worst. Don’t ask this of me, don’t ask that. Jesus says that we’ll never find life that way. We find it by giving it away. (Is it too cliche to use the word “radical” here?)
We must also be prepared to hear things we’ve heard before. Scripture repeats things often. I know that I tend to get bored of the repetition and seek something new. There’s an arrogance in that. Whatever form the truth may take, it never changes, because Jesus doesn’t.
And finally, it isn’t about you. It’s about God. It involves us, but it’s about God. The moment we make ourselves the center of the story, it evaporates on us, like that mirage water on the road as you approach. Our dreams matter to God, but what about his dreams?