This week kicked off going back to school in Texas (and all of the parents shout a hearty HALLELUJAH!) Going back to school is really exciting, but it’s also really chaotic if your child is in elementary school.
This is totally the fault of the parents.
The first day of school is the one day of the year that parents show up, cameras ready, to capture the memory of children in their new, first-day-of-school outfit complete with matching backpack/lunch box ensemble. We get photos at home, in front of the school, in the classroom, at their desk and with their teacher, whose mouth hurts from smiling for the last 15 pictures she has had to take.
The first day is proof of our good parenting. It’s proof we’ll need to soothe our guilt come April when we’ve stopped signing off on homework and started sending lunchables, all the while complaining about the “junk” they serve in the school cafeteria.
We need the proof.
If you’ve forgotten what the first day is like, imagine a herd of cattle shoved into a pen, bodies bumping into one another, while waiting for the release to enter the hallways. When the gatekeeper says, “go” everyone shoves their way into the hallways toward the classrooms to get their proof and say their goodbyes. I found myself in one of these hallways on Monday morning.
Chaos is no exaggeration.
I was following the flow of the herd down the hallway when I looked down and saw a tiny little kindergarten girl all by herself. You could tell by the look on her face that she was lost. I asked her if she needed help, and she looked up at me, her lower lip quivering with tears forming in her eyes and said she just needed a little help finding her classroom.
Now, I’m a sympathetic crier by nature. If I’m anywhere near people who are crying, I will start to well up, even if I have no idea what the problem is. I can’t help myself.
So when she looked up at me with her big, watery brown eyes, it was more than I could take! I helped her out and then went on my way with my daughter, but all day long my mind went back to this tiny little girl trying to find her way in the midst of a sea of giant grownups bustling and bumping all around her.
I mean, can you imagine being 3 ½ feet tall, completely surrounded by stampeding adults and children carrying Ninja Turtle backpacks? She was doing her best to get to where she was going, but she couldn’t see where she was supposed to go and inside, she was terrified.
We’re a lot like that little girl, sometimes.
Dealing with your inner kindergartner
I’ve been blessed in my life to be around some really big thinkers. Almost weekly, I have the opportunity to hear from people that are painting in broad strokes and promoting big concepts. It’s all really exciting, but it can also be a bit intimidating.
I want to serve God in big ways. I believe in taking dominion and changing culture. But, how do you get there?
Take dominion. Where do you start?
Change culture. What does that even mean?
Like that little kindergartener, I sometimes feel so small in light of all that God wants to accomplish. We’re talking about breaking GIANT structures – problems that have deep roots in the fabric of society, backed by powerful demonic strongholds.
The picture has been painted. I know what it looks like, but at times I feel so small in light of what needs to change. It’s hard to know where to start. I am thoroughly inadequate in light of what needs to happen. I hear the voice in my head saying, what difference can I make?
Do you ever feel that way?
What do you do when the task God has called you to be a part of seems too great?
I like what that little girl did. She kept on moving, even through her uncertainty because she knew she had a destination. You may feel like what you are doing doesn’t matter in the scheme of what God wants to accomplish. That’s ok. You just have to figure out what YOUR DESTINATION is.
When you feel small…
Don’t let your current size dictate the size of your dreams. God knows how big you are…and He still wants you to be a part of the solutions that our world needs.
You and I are uniquely positioned in the communities we live in, in the careers we have chosen, so that we can make a difference. START THERE.
Look around you for problems that you can solve. Better yet, find problems. Ask the questions no one else is asking. Ask God for wisdom to see what no one else is seeing. Remember, in whatever work you put your hands to, you have a secret weapon in the Holy Spirit. Just like Solomon, you can walk in wisdom beyond your education or your pay grade.
Ask God to show you the gap that you are called to fill. Where is spiritual leadership lacking in your community? I’m not talking about finding a place where you can share your faith. I’m talking about finding a place that is in desperate need of wisdom and leadership that only God can provide. You are His emissary. You can bring wisdom and fill a gap that establishes His presence in a situation filled with darkness and confusion.
Ask God to show you what your gifts look like in a different setting. We’re pretty good at using our gifts within the church. We know what it looks like.
But what about outside the walls of the church?
Too often, we try to use our gifts outside the church in the same way that we do inside the church and we end up with minimal results. The culture is different. We need to use what we have in different ways. It’s time to figure out what prophecy and word of wisdom look like in a business setting. This is new ground and you and I are the prototypes.
Cue that small feeling.
That’s ok. Someone has to start. It might as well be you and me.
Don’t let intimidation get the best of you. When you feel small, the giants are all that you see. Don’t be like the twelve spies of Israel who chose the security of the wilderness over the chance to conquer the Promised Land because they couldn’t see past the giants.
Remember, the only time the enemy uses intimidation against you is when he sees the greatness in you.
You may not see it, but he does. Intimidation is simply his way of blocking truth. Don’t build your life on his false foundation.
And finally, remember when you feel small, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help. I’m convinced that this new move is not about finding spiritual superstars. Building kingdom and changing culture will only happen when we work together. One person won’t change a city or an industry, but what about a team of people uniting their strengths and insights? What might happen then?
Don’t hide on the fringe of kingdom impact
If you’ve been on the fringes regarding the idea of building the Kingdom, I want to encourage you today to find your place. We have an awareness of what God wants to get done in this hour. Don’t allow knowledge of this to feel like accomplishment. Find your place.
If you’re all in, but find yourself feeling like you’re a kindergartner, I want to encourage you. You’re closer than you think. Focus on what’s right in front of you. That’s the place to start. Don’t let intimidation or feelings of inadequacy stop you. Remember, if anyone knows who you are, warts and all, it’s God. That didn’t stop Him from calling you, so don’t let it stop you.
When you feel small, lean into Him and do the work. He’ll get you where you need to go.
What’s happening on your side of the kingdom? Have you struggled with feeling small? What have you done to get past that feeling? What kinds of things are you doing to fill the gaps around you? Send me an email or add a comment and join the conversation. I’d love to hear from you.