In the Bible there is a dance step known as the ‘not me shuffle’. The dance goes like this: God calls us to step out in faith. Our response? ‘Are you kidding me?’
Moses was called by God to speak a word of challenge to the Pharaoh: ‘Let my people go!’ Moses responds: ‘You can’t mean me! I stutter. I can’t string two sentences together. How about sending my brother Aaron?’
Jeremiah was called by God to be a prophet to his own nation. He knew that prophets get their butt kicked. Jeremiah responds: ‘I’m just a boy. Surely you want someone with more experience.’
Sarah said she was to old. Mary said she was to young.
How about you? Ever felt that God was calling/nudging/prodding you to move in a new direction or speak a word of truth?
Often I revert to the ‘not me shuffle’: “I’m not smart enough, faithful enough, brave enough, good enough, ______.”
Richard Bach captures our reluctance well: ‘Argue for your limitations long enough and sure enough, they are yours.’
In contrast, God argues for our potential. God sees strength where we see weakness. It seems that God enjoys bringing out the extraordinary in that which seems ordinary, even wounded and broken. We are invited to dance not away from but with our Creator.
When I was fifteen years old, I sensed that God was calling me to be a pastor. Me? I knew I didn’t measure up to what I thought a pastor should be … notably serious guys in suits who spoke in oddly stilted language of ‘thee and thou’. That wasn’t me.
Yet, I couldn’t shake the idea that God was calling me. Imagine.
In college I pushed the boundaries, asked lots of questions and explored other faiths. The call however remained…as if God were saying, ‘I choose you’.
Between my junior and senior year of college I had a conversion experience, a reaffirmation that the call I sensed at fifteen was still at work. Forty plus years later I still sense God’s holy nudge.
With all my limitations that great mystery we call God continues to speak into my life and guide my path. Sometimes it is only in looking back that I can see I’ve been accompanied with every step.
The invitation of the Judeo-Christian tradition is that we are invited to see ourselves and others through God’s eyes. Full of wisdom, beauty and strength. We are called to stop arguing for our limitations.
What might God be calling/nudging you to do, to become?