Seven billion people in the world today. Holy wow, that is challenging to wrap my mind around. When I think about how enormous humanity has grown to I have to stop to think: Can one person really make a difference? I mean, sure Noah made a difference when he built the ark. And Abraham too when he was obedient, pulled up stakes and moved to destination unknown. God spoke to them both so that was helpful, I’m sure. But they acted in faith. And they were key players. I guess lots of folks must wonder… with 7 billion of us now, am I really that significant? It must seem to many that we’re all just another drop in the ocean. Are we each key players in the outcome of humanity?
“We ourselves feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” — Mother Teresa
So think about it this way: when God asks us to do something we have a choice, right? That’s where free will comes in. Let’s think about Jonah… so here’s a guy who was called on by God to go to the Assyrians and warn them that they would receive judgment if they did not repent from their evil ways. Well, Jonah didn’t really care for the Assyrians… so much so that didn’t want them to receive God’s mercy. So instead of heading over to Nineveh as God directed, Jonah headed in the opposite direction.
Surely God could have easily found another messenger, right? Right. But I can’t see that scenario happening anywhere in the Bible. Jonah’s task at hand was important… and so it was for Noah and Abraham. Even Moses had questions and doubts of his ability to lead. Just another drop in the ocean? I think we all agree the rock stars that are in the Bible are worthy, right? Wrong. They were all wretched black-hearted sinners just like you and me… sinners in need of a savior. They needed a Savior. We all do. What happened next? Well, in Jonah’s case God pursued him and turned him around. Jonah fulfills his mission.
And how about for you and me? I think God likes us to use our free will, that’s why He gave it to us. However, when it comes down to the important stuff… like following God’s will and fulfilling the decisions that He rests on for the story of humanity… I think He works on and in us when we rebel (or turn to religiosity, whatever the case may be). Who knows whether our next decision will be a catalyst for all of humanity or not. Surely we can see how some of our decisions affect not only us but our offspring and theirs as well. Does that make me want to be more obedient to following Jesus, growing to be more and more like him? Yes, indeed it does. It also makes me want to contribute to the big picture. Like Mother Teresa says, the ocean would still be the ocean but it would in fact have one less drop without me or you. Every drop counts…
What is your favorite Bible story about obedience? Are you more likely to turn to rebelling or religiosity when God wants you to do something that you don’t want to do?
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