Light in the Dark: The Meal or the Mission
“How are you?” “I’m doing good, just so busy!”
Have you ever heard this interaction? Maybe you have said it yourself. In our society, it is so easy to fill our lives with distractions and noise. Being busy can even go from just an excuse to becoming something to brag about, showing off all the many things we are taking on. As if that somehow means we are more on mission for God. As if our lives are more holy when they are jam-packed from one thing to the next.
But I’m just gonna come out and say it: busyness is entirely overrated. Filling your life things, even Godly things, can actually cause you to miss out on the purposes of God right in front of you.
“You can live life busy for a ‘purpose,’ all the while missing the purposes of God. You can become so obsessed with the next big thing, or the end result, and miss the miracle in the middle.” -Pastor Eli Nelson
In scripture, Jesus did not allow the distractions of this world to keep him from seeing the purposes of God. In John 4, we see that Jesus was making his way to Galilee on mission for God, but something was standing in his way: the city of Samaria. This city was largely avoided by the Jews. Samaria lacked water, it was full of conflict, and the people were seen as outcasts.
Instead of actively avoiding Samaria and trudging along on his way to Galilee, Jesus went right through the city. And he did not just speed through it either, he stopped and rested at a well. Did you hear that? Jesus stopped and rested.
Do you rest?
Jesus needed rest. You need rest.
We then meet a Samarian woman who sees Jesus as she is getting water at the well. Her encounter with Jesus causes her to confront her past mistakes and place her trust in the Lord. She then goes into the city to share her testimony with all the people- the very people who know her reputation, her past, her bad habits, her sins. In verse 39, we see that it is because of the boldness and humility of this imperfect woman “that many Samaritans from that town believed in him.”
The woman at the well used her insufficiencies to be the foundation of her mission. She didn’t disqualify herself because of her past. She didn’t allow her setbacks to set her back.
Instead, she poured out onto others what she had been given so freely from Jesus. She could have just received from Jesus, accepted her freedom, and carried on with good vibes only. But she knew that her encounter with Jesus and her life on mission was meant to play a part in a larger purpose.
My question to you is: Are you about the meal or the mission? Are you always consuming, receiving, asking for more from God and His church? Or are you feeding others, advancing His kingdom, allowing yourself to be used by God?
Because God wants to use you. God can use you. Right where you are at. In your workplace. At your gym. In your family. You do not have to wait to have it all together. You do not have to get that promotion or make more money first. You do not have to strive or be perfect.
“You can simply be a light in the darkness, just by being the moon and reflecting the Son.”
-Pastor Eli Nelson
The light you bring by sowing into others can take shape in a lot of different ways. Sometimes it means stepping out of your comfort zone and starting deeper conversations with your coworkers. Sometimes it means cooking a meal for a family in need in your community. Sometimes it means giving financially above and beyond toward the church and mission of God in this city.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (ESV) says this:
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
This means that we give our time, talents, and resources because we have already been given so much by such a good God. We give in faith that we will see more of heaven invade our world. We give because we have a part to play in a purpose much larger than ourselves.
You are called to be a light in the darkness. Right here. Right now.