I know part of this is because it is January. Everyone is ready to tackle their goals and conquer the world. But our culture’s focus on changing the whole entire world is starting to get to me just a teency bit.
It’s not that I don’t believe that big ideas come from a moment of inspiration or that whole movements are brought together by one person with an unshakeable vision. Theirs are the names we read about in history books. And newspapers. And facebook memes. Their quotes get passed around to inspire us to dream more. To do more. To be more.
Part of it is because I am Christian. I know there is only one person who can truly change the world. And yes, He works through individuals.
After all, Moses was one man and he led his people out of Egypt. He led them out of bondage, through a parted sea, across a desert and on toward the promise land. For forty years! But it wasn’t really him, was it? It was God working through his obedience and his temper and his stuttering and his pride to make His will complete.
When we step out onto the path He has laid for us, nothing can stop us. Not our own frailty. Not the scoffing of our neighbors. Not the lack of immediate resources.
But most of us aren’t called to lead a people out of slavery. Most of us aren’t destined to change the whole entire world. If we’re honest, most of us are a lot more like the yammering masses trudging along behind Moses, complaining about the food and yearning for Egypt.
We, too, grow so weary of the continued diet of “manna” — the daily provisions of our faith — that we have ceased to marvel at the miracle that it really is. We strive for something more. We look out from this desert place and want to change the world.
Some of us really are called to that. But many more are called to a quieter life, shepherding our families and serving our neighbors, even as we struggle to remember the miracle that is our daily provision of faith when it seems to turn to monotony.
And that is the real miracle, is it not? That the author of creation would save a wretch like me, form me in His image and call me to His purposes? I sometimes have to remind myself of that as I collect my bit of manna. If I want to be a light to my children, I cannot let my light be dimmed because I forget what price was paid so that I could have a place here in this desert place, waiting for the promised land.