We aim above the mark to hit the mark. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live... (I Thessalonians 4:11-12)
Knowing where we are aiming is important, because our aim determines our course. We don't walk with an aim in front of us and then walk backwards. We set one foot in front of the other, hopefully in the direction of our target. Living a 'quiet life' is not having our head in the sand all of the time. We must engage in life, but in a respectful, peaceful, and kind manner. Christ didn't stick his head in the sand, avoiding all the tough issues, but rather he confronted them with a positive example, loving attitude, and kindness of heart that drew people to him.
A 'quiet life' isn't a 'sheltered' life - one in which we withdraw from what is happening around us. In fact, according to author Tim Ross, God calls us to 'upset our world'. That doesn't mean we get all radical and in everyone's face. It means we get up, go out, meet our neighbors, do life around us, and be there as Jesus was always there. We learn to 'relate' as God intended for all of his kiddos to relate to one another - in kindness and in love. The 'quiet life' isn't devoid of activity - it is action in the right direction - with the right aim!
I challenge you to begin to 'upset your world' today - not in any manner that is hostile - but with love and kindness. Every now and again, there is a man probably somewhere in his 5th or 6th decade of life, standing on the corner of our local big box hardware store, holding a sign that tells people they need Jesus in their lives. He doesn't get in anyone's face, nor does he shout 'repent or die' slogans. He just stands there during rush hour traffic and holds that sign. I don't know what made him take up this habit, but he is committed to getting the message out that people need Jesus.
He may not have a pulpit, have written a book, or even marched in a protest group, but he has an aim. Do I know if it is working? No, I don't, but I do know when God asks us to do something, no matter how 'weird' or 'out there' it may seem, he backs that plan with his presence. Someone may have seen his simple message and thought about it long enough to give their heart to Jesus - if not, the seed was planted. Is this my calling? No, it is not, but I admire him for being faithful to do what he believes God asked him to do. You and I live life daily, going about our business, sometimes without even 'seeing' or 'hearing' others, but we need to begin to both see and hear. God's message isn't always proclaimed from the pulpit, or on the street corner. It is best 'preached' by living a simple life where we engage with those God puts in our path. Just sayin!
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