Mission: Quiet Suburban Life
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That day, I committed to go anywhere, to do anything for God. But was I willing to be ordinary for Christ? Was I willing to be bored for Christ? Was I willing to live a seemingly insignificant life for Christ and thus find my significance?
The Apostle Paul instructed the Thessalonian believers to "Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before" (1 Thessalonians 4:11). I think about what it means to have goals and ambition in the secular world—to aspire to fame, money, power—none of which lead to a quiet life. And yet Paul instructed believers to make a quiet life their ambition. I realize now that that day in college, my passion was tainted with the desire for personal glory. I was willing to make sacrifices in my life but only in exchange for travel and adventure. My ambition was for my satisfaction, not God's. God has challenged me to not only find contentment in but to pursue a quiet life, and this path has taught me some important lessons that I would not have learned otherwise.
My Significance in Christ
While leading a quiet life does not mean I can't have a career, it does mean I don't need recognition from others to feel valuable. Career success gave me a concrete way to measure my worth. I struggled with finding confidence in myself as a suburban mom rather than a career woman. Then one day in church, the worship leader read from the Bible, saying "This is what the Lord says: 'Don't let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!' " (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
His words struck my heart like a double-edged sword. I knew I was guilty of silently boasting about the worldly success God had given me and still clinging to it for my self-worth. But all this time, I had not once wondered whether my life was a delight to God. Now when I consider the future direction of my life, I remind myself to pursue the things God delights in, and I remind myself, especially, that because of Christ's work on the cross, God delights in me.
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