Student: “Teacher, I’m tired.”
Teacher: “Why are you tired?”
Student: “Because I am sleepy. I want to sleep.”
Teacher: “But we have to finish our work first.”
Kids, adults, parents, professionals – we all try to escape our work one way or another. One tactic is that we say that we are tired when we are only actually too lazy to finish our work. Sometimes, we also try to do something else when what we should be doing is something important.
A therapist I *eherm* know does that. He would go to a quiet place to type his reports but would end up playing on his cell phone or browsing the internet in that quiet coffee shop instead of doing what was at hand. He would even go so far as to open his laptop and type a blog entry instead of writing reports. Then, when the deadline arrives he would cram everything. That’s a very bad therapist.
If there is one thing we, humans, are good at, it’s escaping.
“I am not prepared.”
“I am not ready.”
“Can someone else do it? I am not qualified.”
“I am busy.”
“I’ll just donate.”
Here are some of the excuses people make when asked to do something in church. I know those excuses first hand because I often give them myself. I try to get myself engaged elsewhere to escape the opportunity to share God’s word or try to use my inexperience and credentials to make a way out.
However, the truth is really opposite. God does not care your education, and capabilities do not really count when it comes to serving God. Serving the Lord does not require any credentials. If you cannot preach, you can sing; if you cannot sing, you can counsel; if you cannot counsel, you can welcome people. Heck, if you cannot welcome people, your smile could just do the trick. You don’t have to be a pastor, or a doctor with a Ph.D. or a well-trained singer. God looks at the heart and your willingness to do what has to be done.
What’s your excuse?
Of all the characters in the Bible, no one made excuses like Moses. Yes, Moses, former Prince of Egypt, the one who was used by God to deliver the 10 plagues and part the Red Sea. He was so hesitant to do God’s bidding that even midway through the miracles that God has presented him, he still says that he could not do it.
Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”
But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”
God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”
But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”
God replied to Moses, “I am who I am. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.
– Exodus 3:10-14
God squashed Moses’ excuses bit by steady bit. He kept on saying that I am not worthy to lead. I am not capable. I cannot speak. I cannot show myself to Pharaoh in these. Imagine how much of an escape artist Moses was but at every excuse, God has an answer. God has already prepared everything and the only thing missing was Moses’ cooperation.
I recently heard a friend deliver a powerful testimony about her life. This is a person that I have known in church for a long time but realized that I really never knew her that well. Her testimony spoke a lot about how much I didn’t know about her.
She began by telling her roots and how from a meagre living, her family survived with the help of God. She also shared how God placed her in a position of service despite protesting the position. She didn’t want to become a doctor and yet God paved way for her family to send her to medical school. God seemed to lead her in a path that may seem strange to her. Yet she yielded and allowed God to take the wheel. She just couldn’t say that she was not worthy to do God’s bidding because God already paved the way. What else could she say?
In the same manner, we ought not to make excuses. When it is God’s will, everything has already been prepared. You cannot say I am not worthy because God has already prepared everything that you needed. You just have to step in with a willing heart. Then, you will discover how in control God totally is.
In conclusion, I had a moment of epiphany while hearing my friend’s testimony and reading Moses’s story. I realized that, personally, I could not say to God that I am not worthy because that’s my very name.