Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys
Let’s face it, life can be messy. As a person who likes order, at times I am reluctant to engage with others because I don’t want a mess encroaching on my order. Coming to Mexico has challenged my order on so many different levels. Some of the time order has gone completely out the window. But that has challenged me to look at what “my order” has been about. It has been about my wants, my comfort, my desires and feelings. I sometimes jokingly say, “Not my circus, not my monkeys”. We all laugh but when I say that am I putting off someone with whom God wants me to engage? The words of 1 Peter 3:15 come to mind. If I am to be prepared to give a reason, I can suffice it to say that I am to be engaging those around me. Otherwise, why would I need to be prepared? In 2 Timothy 4:2 we see we are to be ready in season and out. That not only speaks of preparedness but I think it also speaks to be engaged in the world around you.
I have heard our Christian life is like being in the Lord’s Army. If that is true what does that look like? Well first there is basic training which establishes your foundation. After you graduate Basic with the basic skills set in place then you move on to AIT which means Advanced Individual Training which has to do with your MOS which stands for your Military Occupational Skill. It’s what you are trained to do. After you graduate AIT do you sit around waiting for war to break out? And then when word comes down that it is time to go to war you stumble around looking for your gear trying to get your head straight remembering what it is you are supposed to do? Not by a long shot. Your days are spent keeping sharp physically. You are always refining your skills and practicing what you have been trained to do so it becomes more of a habit than a conscience thought. You are ready at a moment’s notice to go where you are sent to do what you have trained to do.
The same is with our Christian walk. Living in Mexico has driven home some of these points. Partly because we never know what might appear on our radar that day. It could be as simple as giving someone a ride, or fixing a broken water pipe that loose cows stepped on. It could be talking someone through the difficulties in their marriage, it could be explaining the truth in the word of God to someone who has strayed from the narrow way because they have been listening to others who have different beliefs, or being the voice for a little boy who does not have one even though we do not know what will happen. Is it teaching bible study or choosing to pray for people and see them as Christ does even though they are in the middle of the gossip ring in the neighborhood and you have been on the receiving end of some of the false accusations?
What is clear is my life is not my own. I was bought for a price. I read in Romans 12:1 I am to offer myself as a living sacrifice which is my reasonable service. I will be honest sometimes what I am presented to do does not seem reasonable in any way but it is what Jesus is asking me to do right now. We have encountered some very hard things since moving here. In the midst of it all the most apparent thing is I have nothing in and of myself to offer. I say all I have is Jesus, but in reality that is the best thing I have to offer. The only thing that has lasting value, the only thing that will not rust and fade away is Jesus and the work that is accomplished through His Spirit. I am just to be the salt and light. I need to be ready at all times to give a reason for the hope that I have. I cannot do this in my strength. All I have to offer is the hope that I have found in Jesus and as a living testimony of what He has done in my life and what He can do in theirs. People need to know that scripture has the answers they need to help them with any situation with which they are dealing. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
In this “season” of our lives the fact that I have nothing but Jesus is so very apparent. I cannot “fix” anyone. That is not my job, it is the Holy Spirits. When I remember this there is freedom in just sharing Jesus with the other person. People have said you need to be Jesus with skin on. I understand their point, but I think what we are supposed to do really is point people to Jesus. To share with them the work Jesus has done in my life and let the Holy Spirit do the work in their hearts.
So I encourage you get yourself prepared. Know what the word of God says. Be able to give a reason for the hope you have. Engage with the people around you so they can see what Jesus does in a life. Be that salt and light. How do you prepare? The Word of God. Immerse yourself daily in it. Get involved in Bible study, home groups, take the BCF class and let your world be transformed by the word of God. We are to be active participants in this life for the glory of God not ourselves. Get an understanding of Matthew 28:18-20 and how that looks in your life.