Key Word:- PEACE
Title:- Avoiding Elephantine Excreta
Isaiah 43:5-7 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' And to the south, 'Do not keep them back!' Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth — Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
Imagine you were born into a family of elephant keepers in India, yet in your heart you wanted to be a doctor. So each day, after shovelling out the elephant’s compound, when the stars came out each night, you would sit down under a bright moon, open your books and study, study, study, until one day, you take an exam, get a scholarship and get into medical college and persevere until eventually you graduate and become an M.D. In Western terms you would have aspired and achieved, overcome and conquered even, against incredible odds. In Western terms you would be a hero!
However, believe it or not, in Indian culture you would not have bettered yourself, oh no! On the contrary, you would be creating terrible karma! “After all,” they might explain, “you were created to be an elephant keeper. Be a great elephant keeper in this life and maybe in the next life you could be a doctor, but to change the course of your destiny in this life is just plain wrong and will have terrible karmic consequences for you in your next re-incarnation! Be vary careful because next time around my Indian friend you may be re-birthed into something the elephant steps on!” Now, to our Western thinking this is absurd bondage, but to millions of Indians however, this is a way of living, looking and being. DO NOT aspire beyond your present situation!
In the West most of us have occupations. Something we do which occupies our time. If we are very fortunate, we may enjoy what we do. However, we mostly do the thing because it brings home the bacon, pays the bills and keeps us out of mischief! In the West, rarely do people now claim to have a vocation, you know, literally something they are called to do. Oh, you do hear about people ‘called’ to the ministry, and I believe that, indeed, God help the poor congregation and the poor person who engages in ministry without such a calling! The rest of us regard this kind of calling however, this kind of vocation as obviously something set apart, spiritual and holy. Of course it is! However, let me tell you this: “if God has called you to be a car mechanic, if that is your vocation, your calling, your pursued destiny, then that too is equally as spiritual and holy. EQUALLY! There is no difference for in either case, you must glorify God and experience His fellowship and enjoy Him in it! Be happy! Enjoy your calling!
Now, if you are unhappy at work, then rather than settling for that hateful little existence and your increasing fantasies of escape and vacation, start thinking about your VOCATION! Maybe there is more peace and glory in fulfilling a vocation rather than doing an occupation? Think about it! Maybe it’s better to seek out and occupy your earthly destiny rather than simply occupy your allotted timeslot until it’s time to begin ‘pushing up the daisies?”
Now having said that, though I do acknowledge that there is a peace to be found in doing what we are called to do, gifted to do, delighted to do, I also believe there is even more peace to possess in just, well in just being! Archibald Macleish in his poem about what a poem should be (Ars Poetica), sums it up nicely by saying “A poem should not mean, But be.” The most peace we could have, the most glory we could possibly give to God is by simply being who we are! I am not saying we should stop ‘becoming’, oh no, we need to keep aspiring, possessing and becoming’ however, we need to become primarily more of who we are, not who they want us to be, or what our parents wanted us to be, oh no! We should at all costs, for our peace and God’s glory, be who we are and do what we are called to do. I have observed that these two conduits of peace flow together side by side.
So today, if you are tired of shovelling out elephantine excreta, then maybe you should begin to seek out your vocation rather than be frustrated in your occupation and maybe, you should also start being who you truly are? So let me ask you right now. “Who are you? What is your name? What are you doing here? Why?” There is an aroma of change in the air. Can you smell it?
Listen:- Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” John 21:20-22
Pray:- Lord. Speak to me my own true name. Reveal it to me Lord and show me who I am in You and who You created ME to be, help me to BE and then help me to DO. In Jesus name, Amen.