For a generation full of impatient dreamers, the thought of doing anything “normal” for any period of time is heresy. We’re told to let loose and live our dreams from the time we are kids. We’re shown inspiring examples of people making huge change at a young age. We hear about the great adventures of God, and our hearts start racing, ready to write our own stories.
Yet many of us find ourselves in less-than-adventurous circumstances. Whether it’s an office job instead of an artistic venture, joining someone else’s Lifegroup instead of leading your own ministry or spending a couple of years in the suburbs when you’d rather be serving in the nations, we all go through seasons where we don’t’ feel like we’re realizing our full potential.
But in that middle-ground of “doing normal,” I believe God wants to do more than we could imagine. I believe, among many things, He wants to use these years to define us and dine with us.
Luke 3:23 says, “Jesus Himself was about 30 years old when He began His ministry.” Most of what we know about Jesus happened in a three year span of His life. But we hardly even think about the years that came before that point.
Can you picture Jesus in his twenties? Knowing His destiny, His identity and His mission, yet working a blue-collar job day-in, day-out… for years. He wasn’t going on mission trips… wasn’t leading a company… wasn’t realizing His full potential. He was doing normal.
But why did He have to wait? Hebrews 5:8 tells us “Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered.”
I believe it was in these years of doing normal that Jesus learned what was necessary for fulfilling His mission. Those years of normal defined His character; they prepared Him.
“Normal” has an amazing way of refining you to become the person who is able to handle the huge destiny on your life. If we embrace the normal and let God define us, we’ll reach our destiny ready to realize our full potential in Him.
King David, similar to Jesus, worked a blue-collar job for a long time before he reached his destiny. For years, he spent day after day, week after week alone with sheep… even after having been anointed as king.
But it was there in the lonely, boring pastures where David wrote many of the psalms we read today. David’s years of “doing normal” were the years where he grew in intimacy with God – where he learned to “dine” with God.
In the mundane, God wants to speak to us. He wants us to know Him and depend on Him like never before. He wants to eat and drink with us, to have friendship with us. In the midst of normal, God wants to dine with us.
Both Jesus and David teach us that just because you know your destiny, you’re never too good to do normal. But does that mean we need to just stifle our dreams and forsake our passions? I don’t think so.
God’s word is clear that His dream for your life is larger than anything you could come up with. The question is not whether or not you’ll reach your destiny someday… it’s how you’ll get there.
Some of the best advice I’ve gotten in the last few years is to allow my 20’s to be a time of character shaping… not to expect that they’ll be the climax of my life. I have lots of huge dreams, so knowing that Jesus and David did nothing but work a blue-collar job til they were 30 gives me a lot of peace.
Trust God with your story. Don’t forget who God says you are or what your destiny is. But until you get there, savor this season. Allow it to define you, and allow God to dine with you.
By Thomas Wilson