They say that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line; and in this fast-paced, instant-gratification-seeking world everyone seems to be in such a tremendous hurry to get where we are going that we don’t care who gets stepped upon in the process. We are anxious to climb the ladder of success as quickly as possible, unaware, or without a care, for those left hurting in our wake.
There’s nothing wrong, however, with the desire to be successful. We were created to rule. If you don’t believe me, just look at the first recorded words that God spoke to Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28, ESV, emphasis mine). If you want to talk about a fast track to success, they had it. They had just been created and handed the keys to world domination!
British polititian Sir John Dalberg-Acton, famously said, Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Adam and Eve had it good. The were over everything… Except. One. Tree. But spurred on by the devil’s taunts about all the good stuff God was keeping for Himself, they ate the fruit of the one tree they didn’t control. The rest is history.
Conversely, Jesus moved a bit too slowly for the religious leaders of his day. Thry thought that if He was the Messiah, he would be moving Heaven and Earth to free Israel from it’s Roman oppressors. Instead, they found him mosying from place to place just talking about the Kingdom of God. Sure, He healed folks and stuff, but He didn’t fit the picture they held in their mind about Messiah.
Jesus had a plan and a purpose, but He wasn’t in a great hurry to get it done. It wasn’t that the thought of His mission terrified Him, it did (read Luke 22:42-44). Rather, Jesus cared very deeply for others. He was intensely focused on fulfilling His mission, but He was always willing to take the winding route when someone had a need. We could list the lepers, the blind, the demon possessed and more, all shown mercy by the Lord of lords while He was on His way somewhere else!
I mentioned earlier that we were created to rule. This is a fact, but we must never be in a hurry. We are on God’s time, not our own. It’s so easy to become sidetracked by our desire to find and live our calling. I purposely used the word “sidetracked” there to draw attention to the fact that before Jesus was Savior, before he fulfilled His calling on Earth, He was just like us. He walked the dusty streets. He taught others about God and His kingdom. He stooped down to help those in need. We need to take great pains to ensure that as we seek our “greatest” calling we don’t forget that people are our first and greatest calling.
Don’t avoid the winding and meandering roads. They are our training grounds. And, just perhaps, our greatest calling.