“It is not the bush that sustains the flame, it is God in the bush:
and any old bush will do.”
Ian Thomas The Saving Life of Christ
How important are you? I don’t mean to any particular person, job or project. Anybody is important to their little girl, the job they’ve had for years or the project in which they are a major cog. I mean, when you look at yourself, how important are you?
Some people, we’ll call them narcissists for want of a better term, seem to think that the world revolves around them. They’re the people who think that they’re the center of the universe and the sun wouldn’t rise if they stayed in bed for a day. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but some people do seem to have this idea. I’m kind when I don’t call it a mental illness (which it is).
Most people believe they have some importance, but they have been humbled enough by life to realize the world would probably still function (let alone the family, job or project) if they weren’t around. I’m not saying we’re not important in an under the sun kinda way (all you have to do is watch Jimmy Stewart flail around in the snow of Bedford Falls a few times to understand this), but we’re probably all a little less important than we think. It’s a cloudy human perspective that never clears up.
Let me ask again, How important are you? And allow me to clarify…in other people’s lives.
Here. Let me burst your bubble. The correct answer is…not very.
We can affect people, even those who love us the most in only a very superficial way…unless…well, unless we realize what’s important in the first place. Let’s look at it from an eternal perspective.
God thinks that we’re all very important. But He wants us to know that we’re important in who we are as individuals, to Him, and in how we can affect others for Him. In no other way do we have eternal significance.
That’s not to say we are truly responsible for anything that happens in someone’s life. You can be the instrument of change in people’s lives, but never the Agent. Agency is not our responsibility.
It IS your responsibility to give yourself so fully to Him who is the Agent that He can live through you. It is also your responsibility to do this in perfect humility, regarding your contribution as nothing. Because in God’s economy, we are nothing. That is, unless we see who we are in Him who loved us enough to die for us.
But we’re stubborn; even those of us who have been Christians for more than a few years and have been under some of the greatest teaching God ever sanctioned. Sometimes we are used of God and in our humanity we think we had something to do with whatever God worked. Always remember that you are the clay, not the potter; you are the hammer, not the builder; you are the tool in the Master’s hand. If He puts you down, all you can do is lie there until He picks you up again.
It’s good to be a tool. My own workmanship is grounded on sand. It takes the Rock, Jesus Christ, to make anything I have a part in building stand. I say again, it’s good to be a tool…in the Master’s hand.
And if you ever rise a little above your station and think that maybe some of your talent leaked out and was responsible for at least a small part of what God has done through you? Remember what Ian Thomas said, “Any old bush will do.” God didn’t have to use you, He chose to use you. It is a grace that He uses us as His tools.