Reinventing Yourself

Why should it come as a surprise that life does not remain static or the same?  It is dynamic and constantly changing.  More often than not this requires us to change, as well.

But, when we talk with people we get the impression that it should always be the same, smooth, never changing.  If a person is called to the ministry we feel they should always be a pastor, or evangelist, or Minister of Christian Education.  If they change and do something else we wonder what happened, and we think something is wrong.

If we take a short glance at the life of the Apostle Paul, however, we can get a better picture of what I’m talking about.

Paul started life by being a ‘crusader’.  As a crusader Paul’s mission was to stop the new Christian movement that took hold in Jerusalem after the crucifixion of Jesus, and began to spread to other cities.  On the road to Damascus, after an encounter with Jesus, Paul changed direction and became a ‘crusader’ for the Christian movement.  Time passed, and Paul was brought to the Antioch church where the early Christian movement was beginning to take off in a dramatic way.

In Antioch Paul began his ministry as a teacher.  Within a few years, Paul changed careers and became a diplomat, as he conveyed messages between the church at Antioch and Christian leaders in Jerusalem.  Shortly, after that he began a career as evangelist, and church starter.

Paul then began a career in church government, as he organized churches, set leaders in place, and ordained new ministers.

Eventually, Paul combined the efforts of administration and government with writing.

At each phase of his life, Paul’s life was shaped by his commitment to Christ, but his efforts and career changed along the way.  Teacher, diplomat, evangelist, administrator, writer, to name a few.

So, why should we be surprised when we find ourselves in a place where we have to reinvent who we are, and what we are doing?  We are capable of much more than we think.  We shouldn’t be surprised when life takes a turn and we find ourselves doing something different, something unexpected.

And, we shouldn’t look down on those individuals who have done many things, as if they have done something wrong, or somehow missed their calling.  We sometimes call it ‘being put on the shelf’, when in fact, there is no shelf life for those called by Christ.  There are just different things to do and learn.

If we had to look at Paul’s life and determine which phase was most important we might come up with many different answers.  But, the truth is that all phases of Paul’s life were important in their own way, and we cannot really tell which ones were the most important, and which ones didn’t mean that much.  In the same way, we cannot tell when we are tasked with something important, or something that doesn’t mean anything.  In fact, we are a poor judge of what is important, and what is not important, when it comes to work we do for God.

Paul must have felt pretty useless when he was bound up in prison writing letters.  How could he have known that those letters would be inspiring and instructing Christians some 2,000 years later?  Yes, his time spent writing letters was pretty important.

No job done for Christ is trivial or unimportant.  And take heart when you find yourself in a place or time where you have to reinvent yourself.  It’s still all part of God’s plan for you and the ones you will minister to.

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One Response to “Reinventing Yourself”

  1. Bea McGuire Says:

    Boy, well said!! I think we all need this blog as a reminder. Great points and lots to ponder here. Thank you for being such an inspiration! Blessings….

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