Determining the Important

The older I get the smaller I get and the bigger God gets. No, I am not talking about size. I am talking about importance. Yes, I gained a couple of pounds lately, and God never gains weight. Weight seems to be only a human concern, not a divine reality.

With me lately transition is the basic consideration and reality of every day. Goals change. Ambitions change. My list of “cannots” increases. My list of “wants” decreases. Pleasures decrease. Things I planned to do change. Things I want to do change. Pace changes. Rate of accomplishment changes. Frankly, at times I hardly recognize me.

I sincerely doubt God’s goals or ambitions concerning us change—ever! While He is incredibly patient with us, what He wants in us and for us is changeless. I sincerely doubt His “to do” list changes. Things that give Him joy are changeless. His plans do not change. His pace and rate of accomplishment do not change because His patience, mercy, and forgiveness are beyond human comprehension. (Read 2 Peter 3:8, 9 lately?) God’s pace is unhurried but certain. God is the same as He was when we were born, or even when humanity began—He is very recognizable.

The older I get the more unimportant I realize I am. At the same time, the older I get the more important I realize God is. I hope in some meaningful way I have been and am useful to God as He achieves His purposes. Yet, I realize that with or without me, God’s purposes will be done. I also realize most of my moments of urgent crises regarding the church are more a product of my fears than God’s realities. After all, God has worked with humans a long time. He knows what to expect from us. As much as we wish it were otherwise, I sincerely doubt that we surprise Him—ever!

To me it is incredible that we humans hold any significance to God. Were it not for us, God would have a lot less heartache and anxiety. Yet, for some unfathomable reason, we are important to Him. How important? Important enough for God to love us when we do not deserve His love or patience.

One of Paul’s favorite illustrations to describe our usefulness to God is the illustration of the body (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31). Among the many points Paul made in his illustration, two stand out to me. First, we serve the role in the body God gave us. The primary thing my large intestine, my pancreas, and my eyeball have in common is, thankfully, they are parts of my body—though you would never know it by looking at each individually. Second, while we are not able to perform the same functions, we each are useful to God’s purposes—if we perform the function He gave us.

Incredibly, to God there are no unimportant people when we as individuals have the courage to be a part of His people. Unlike humans, the issue with God is NEVER on what we cannot do. It is always on doing what we can do by being what we can be.

Thus the older I get, the more at peace I am with being unimportant—as long as God grows in importance to me.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 26 January 2006

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