What are you doing here, ____________?

I’ve come to realize, the loudest barking dog gets the Scooby Snack. Or some might say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Whichever, the fact is, whatever is most noisy seems to demand and get our immediate attention. Certainly in ministry, that’s the case. There’s always a pressing need, something that seems most urgent. We divide ourselves among many great needs and causes, but ultimately, are we listening to that still small voice? Perceived need is the powerful wind, the earthquake, and the fire – as depicted in 1 Kings 19:11-13. But there’s a question asked at the end of 13, a questions that’s resonated in my mind and heart for a very long time now. Today, it’s as if the revelation of this is the most clear to me.

In verse 13, God asks, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

God has posed this question to me, and in this context, reminds me of my call. My call is to write, and the call is only heard in the gentle whisper. Yet I stay busy and active in all the other needs surrounding me, the loud things, those things which always seem most critical. The one thing I’m called to do, which is to write, is the first thing I set aside when others “need” me. Through storytelling, I’m reaching the hearts of thousands for Jesus, but most often, I focus on the 50 close by. This is true revelation to me, something Jesus has been gently showing me over the course of the past few months, but today, in the vividness of the revelation, I’m charged with action. It’s time to listen to the gentle whisper and learn to tune out the other demanding voices.

Obviously, I can’t just walk away from all my commitments, but I can begin to slowly untangle myself from those things which are not my call, those ministries that I became involved in simply because I saw the need and jumped in, or maybe I was called there for a season but that season has ended.

My challenge to you – seek the gentle whisper. What are you here for? What is your call? No answered question will bring you as much fulfillment as this can. When you are actively pursuing your call, contentment comes. When you are dabbling in others’ calls, you’re stretched, miserable, and cranky. No one likes stretched, miserable, and cranky; we just tolerate you.

Like Mike

Like Mike – that was a saying when Michael Jordan was at the pinnacle of his popularity. Everyone wanted to be like Mike. I’ve had women say they wish their husbands were more like Mike from UtV – obviously the saved and healed version of Mike later in the story. He raises his hands and praises God, thanking Him for another chance with his wife. Or maybe you want your husband to be more like John or Tuck. I have a new book in the works, Deceiver. When one of my pre-readers read it, she said she wanted her husband to be more like the leading man. That, along with all the other, “I wish my husband was more like…” comments gave me cause for concern. I wondered if maybe I was making my men all too perfect, totally unrealistic compared to real life. Of course no one wants to read about burpin’, spittin’, and scratchin’ husbands, so they have to be pretty appealing men. But are they totally unrealistic? And are they even perfect?

Mike was unsaved, had PTSD from war, and turned to alcohol to self-medicate and stop feeling the pain of losing his son. He was far from perfect. By the time we met him, he was healed and still healing. His was a redemption story. John slept his way around California, was greedy, never loved his first wife, and cared only about business. Tuck got some random girl pregnant while engaged, and then once he married her, he envisioned his ex while he was “with” his wife.

My point is, none for them were perfect. Later in the story, because of their failures, they learned to seek God, which led them to godliness. That was what was so appealing about them. They became men who pursued God.

You know what I’ve never had anyone ask me? “Why can’t I be more like Robin or Chelsea?” By the end of their stories, they were truly godly women. It’s easy to want our husbands to be like these godly men, but it’s another thing entirely to desire to be like these godly women and pursue God with our whole hearts, which, by the way, is what leads to godliness. Godliness and holiness are never an accident. They require effort on our part.

Read the story of Peter’s restoration at the end of the Gospel of John. Jesus used that to set me on an entirely different path. In one way, it’s actually a pretty humorous story. Jesus tells Peter how he will suffer for His name. And what does Peter do? Exactly what we all do, he looked at John and asked, “What about him?” Jesus very plainly told Peter – paraphrasing here – “He’s not your business. This is about you and Me. You follow Me.”

So instead of wishing our husbands were like Mike or John or Tuck, let’s set out to be the godly women that God intends for us to be. When we become who we need to be, transformation will come in our homes and families. Quit wishing they were different. You be different. That’s what Jesus very plainly told me when I was tattling on my husband about what he was doing or not doing.