When I was a younger Christian I was always looking for the big thing, the open door that would lead to my "real" ministry. All that looking ahead made me miss what was right in front of me. I worked in a small private school of approx 200 kids. I was the lunch lady. I loved those kids and most of them loved me too. I had a lot of influence in their lives over the seventeen years I was there. But, I didn't see it as ministry because it wasn't in a church.
I worked in an inpatient dual diagnosed drug rehab. But didn't see it as ministry because it wasn't in a church. Even though I was promoted, it wasn't enough cz I wanted a bigger title.When I look back on it I think how silly I was to not realize I was searching for outward significance when we were meant to know how significant we are to our heavnly Father.
I worked for an amazing surgeon. There were times we spoke on a personal level in ways most administrative assistants would never be permitted to. I still miss her and that very special working relationship to this day. I had opportunity to care for her patients in ways other administive assistants usually wouldn't. I brought love into my work. But, I didn't see it as ministry because it wasn't in a church or come with a more prestigious title.
Were each of these secular jobs shiny obects along the way to "my real minsitry"? Heck no! I just didn't have eyes to see. I was simply blinded by ambition. Maybe that's your experience too.
Here's what I missed while I was looking for the "real opportunity"
I missed being present and fully enjoying the people that were in my life. That includes family and friends, as well as, the people I was actually serving.
Even though I was loving people, I didn't notice that I was actually serving those Jesus said we were to minister to. the children, the sick, the addicted, the outcast, the lonely. All of them were lost in some way.
Here's what I learned now that I'm older
All that glitters isn't gold. I.e.,stage ministry.
My ego wanted to be seen because then I would have the worth and value that I longed for. I don't think I'm not alone in this.
I was doing what Jesus would have done by ministering to the least of these already! I still wonder how I could've missed it when it was right under my nose all the while.
I still from time to time have to wrestle with my ego. I suppose I will until I die too. But, at least now I know to go to the Father and ask Him to remind me of my worth. All I need to do is ask one simple question. What have already done for your people that brought a smile to your face?
You can't make things happen before their time. That's God's decision and most of the time you won't walk in the fullness of your assignment until you're older. You have to have many experiences because they're all needed for your future assignment. So don't try to find a shortcut.
Godliness with contentment really IS great gain.