In case you haven’t figured it out yet, let me fill you in on something: I’m a writer. A writer who writes all.the.time. And no, homework doesn’t count. Sometimes I can’t go to bed without jotting down some thoughts, or I can’t focus on a class discussion because a plot is developing in my head and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Or when, like now, there are 1,005 things I should be doing, but I can’t possibly focus on them because I just need to be doing this.
And I’m a total nerd about it, too. I almost always have a craft book (by “craft” I mean writing, not paper-mâché) by my bed to be read in the 3.2 seconds I’m able to stay awake before falling asleep at night. I even read The Elements of Style for fun, for Pete’s sake!
But for all of my practice and research and studying, sometimes I just feel so…unqualified. Especially when I finish reading a book that does exactly what I want mine to do, but the author does it so much better. And yet I still keep writing. This is completely contrary to my nature. I often joke about my motto being, “If at first you don’t succeed, get someone else to do it.” But I can’t get someone else to do it, because I know it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.
So I guess the question is: Have you ever felt called to do something, and yet you felt completely inadequate?
Welcome to my world, folks. It’s an over-caffeinated, under-rested, often confusing place.
Sometimes I get so caught up in feeling unqualified that I forget God doesn’t want me because of what I have to offer. If that were the case, He probably wouldn’t want any of us. But rather, it’s because we’re loved so passionately by a God who willingly allows us to play a role in showing the world His power. That’s why He wants us.
Okay, yeah, I know that. But sometimes I just don’t grasp it. Until I think about people who have walked through life before me. Like Moses, who couldn’t speak well. Or David, a scrawny kid who took out a giant with one small stone. Or Esther, the nobody who ended up saving the entire Jewish race because she refused to let her inferior position define her. Or Paul, who had some mysterious thorn in his flesh, but he was thankful for the very thing that brought him agony because God demonstrated his power through Paul’s weakness. On, and on, and on the list goes. Throughout history, God has used the underdog to alter the course of the world.
And then there’s Mary: a small town girl trying her best to follow God’s law. A young girl with a big faith. The carrier of the fulfillment of every prophecy. The girl from whom a crying child entered the world to break hundreds of years of silence. The vessel who carried the one sent to redeem the world. The mother of the promised Messiah. All of that from a girl with no plans of being a mother any time soon. From the world’s viewpoint, she was the definition of unqualified.
And yet she was called. Why? Because she found favor in the eyes of God Himself. She was humble, faithful, and a believer in the impossible. And for that, God chose the unlikeliest person to bring the unlikeliest hero into the world.
That’s the kind of faith I want. To be humble and recognize apart from God I can do nothing, but be willing to accept that which He is calling me to do. To be able to really, truly, honestly echo the words of Mary, when she sings:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.” –Luke 1:46-50
So I’m in a humble state, knowing I have so much to learn, including how to enjoy the journey. To learn how to savor the moments of, “I can do this!” and to lean on Jesus in the moments of, “I’ll never make it as a writer.”
Because, honestly, it doesn’t matter how qualified I am. What matters is my willingness to play a role in a beautiful story only the Author of Life Himself can write.
“God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.” –Unknown
In His love,