It took bowling, of all things, to bring about an interesting thought: It’s position, not power… Struggling to make an impact on the bowling pins after several attempts, I leaned over to Kristin and offered the coaching “it’s about the position, not power”. We both looked at each other and realized that the statement was probably a lot more profound that what usually comes from my head! After reflecting on what that really means, I think God may have provided a great piece of insight at just the right time.
It’s no secret that I struggle a little with authority and sometimes what seems to be an abuse of power. Why does God trust these people with power? Why do people automatically trust and follow those with the most power? Why do I find myself jealous of “power” and everything that comes with it?
Here’s what God has been teaching me over the past several years. The “power” that we often criticize, chase, follow, or envy is almost always associated with influence, money, and opportunity. All great things, but not what God has asked us to focus on. I have such a hard time embracing the fact that everything we as Christians are to be living for is so counter-cultural and just doesn’t feel right. Until, that is, I experience the power of God working through my position. There’s something indescribable about looking back and knowing that great things happened because you were ready and willing to allow God to use your position to make a HUGE impact.
I’m not saying that power doesn’t impact people in a big way. It does, both in a positive and negative way and all the time. But here’s what I get excited about… the kind of excitement that keeps me awake at night, keeps me focused, and inspires me to move forward with nothing but His glory and His power in my sight. It’s when I see an ordinary and often looked-over person who is quietly moving mountains and is never looking around to see who’s watching. The kind of impact that hurts your heart and leaves you with nothing to say but… “I see God”. Two examples:
A college student living for something beyond himself. At the age of 17, Cody experienced something in Ghana that changed his life and his perspective. As a result, he returned home with a new mission to get to a position where God could use him to impact others. He did! Cody launched Beyond Ourselves and quickly rounded up a group of high school students to work with him to provide various needs to people around the world. Because of his position, these guys provided more than 1,200 bibles to Ghana and paid for a well to be installed in a Kenyan community.
A Kenyan friend who lives among and nurtures more than 30 young children affected or infected by AIDS. It has the potential to be devastating. Driving up to a cement building with 4 rooms, a tin roof, no running water, holes in the ground for toilets, and a wooden shack for a kitchen doesn’t seem inspiring. But God is using our friend to nurture and care for children who have either lost every relative who could care for them or have been abandoned because of expense or the stigma attached to living with AIDS. It’s not glamorous and she doesn’t have a lot of power. However, she has positioned herself to be right where God can and is using her to make the kind of impact on 30 lives that you and I may never make. She leaves me speechless…
I pray that God continues to teach me. I pray that He will constantly remind me to live in a position where He can work through me in such a powerful way that only His glory can be seen. Seen in such a way that it leaves others speechless.