Thursday, July 21, 2011
For such a time as this....
This summer, I had the great privilege to co-direct summer camp at my church again. This year, we focused on the story of Esther. You probably recall the story. In a nutshell, Esther, a poor Jewish girl is chosen to be a queen in a fairytale whirlwind. When one of the king's officials threatens to kill all the Jews, she risks her life to save her people.
At the climax of the story Esther is afraid to do what she knows she must and her cousin Mordecai gives her a word of confidence to inspire her to do the unthinkable.
Mordecai sent this message back to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were put in this position for such a time as this?”
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I perish, I perish.” So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.
Who knows if perhaps you were put in position for such a time as this? I've spent a lot of time this summer wondering what my life would be like if I took Mordecai's question to heart. There are so many times I have resigned my efforts, feeling powerless to change a situation. So many times when I can't see what I uniquely have because all I see is what I uniquely lack. There are moments when I swear I can almost feel cousin Mordecai tapping on my shoulder ready to give me a pep talk.
Lately, I find myself praying for courage to embrace every teachable moment.What I mean is, there are moments where if I rose to the challenge set before me I would learn something about myself, God, or the world around me, but instead I act like a turtle and hide inside my shell. So I'm working on it. Have the hard conversation. Tell the people you love why you love them. Always apologize if you did something wrong, but don't ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining. Though your voice may be small, don't ever stop singing. Speak up for what's just, even when it means going against what others say and do. Do what you know is right, even when it is the more difficult option.
Maybe you know what I mean. Maybe you don't. Either way, consider this:Perhaps you have come to this place, to this moment, to these people, to this challenge, for just such a time as this. Maybe you have been given this money, this talent, this vision for just such a time as this. Perhaps you have been given these skills and experiences, these privileges and deprivations, so that just at this very moment you could do what no one else could do, you could be what no one else could be. God made you just as you are because he wanted someone just like you. Maybe all this happened and you came to be here for just such a time as this.