Saturday, April 2, 2011

Special Assignments

St. Francis statue on watch in my office window
I, Paul, have been sent on special assignment by Christ as part of God's master plan.  Together with my friend Timothy, I greet the Christians and stalwart followers of Christ who live in Colosse.  May everything good from God our Father be yours!  -- Colossians 1:1-2 (The Message)
The scene out my window today is wet.  Rain pouring, river rising and turning from green to brown as the mud and silt is churned up from the melting mountain snows.

I grabbed a Bible lying here and just started reading at where it fell open.  I read these verses and went no further.  "...Sent on special assignment as part of God's master plan."  I got stuck watching raindrops fall and asking myself two questions:
     1) What is God's master plan?
     2) Should I be hearing I have a special assignment?  Or, am I already on that assignment and does sitting here pondering deep thoughts while it rains do anything to accomplish that assignment? Or, was it ONLY Paul who got the special assignment?

You can attribute my ramblings here to my inflated Messianic complex, but I think Christ gives us all special assignments.  The assignments vary based on the particular gifts and talents bestowed by the Holy Spirit like wisdom, healing, miracles, prophecy... (I Corinthians 12:4 ff)  Knowing your gifts can be a helpful piece of self-awareness.  (There are a number of places that you can take spiritual gift inventories, such as the Online Spiritual Gifts Test.)

The prodding sense of The Spirit I feel this morning is questioning whether I'm living out that special assignment as best I can.  I am sensing a suspicion that I'm not.  Paul is clear that Christ gave him the special assignment.  From the text, Christ does this for all people who believe -- not simply converted Christians but the "stalwart" followers.  There is too much work to be done in the world for just the most committed people to do it all.  So, what IS Christ calling you to be doing?

The other question is what is God's master plan?  First, it is probably broader than we can get our heads around.  I might be so presumptuous as to toss out that the plan involves helping to bring the Kingdom of God to visible fruition. Christ will need to fill you in on what that means for your own special assignment.

One final note: because of Paul's example, we might think a special assignment means something huge and life changing.  It likely is not, and is probably far more pedestrian -- like something involving your present everyday life.  There are, afterall, only so many shipwrecks for Jesus to sponsor off the coast of Malta. :))

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