Yes, I know times are tough. I spoke at an event just outside of Washington DC last weekend and had a chance to talk to people who are wondering if there is any reason to be cheerful or optimistic.
As a Russian priest (1829 – 1908), Father John Sergiev first thought he wanted to be a monk in the remote areas of Siberia – but after a vision, he realized God wanted him to be a missionary right where he was – in the hustle and bustle of the big urban city of St. Petersburg. While most priests remained in the safe confines of their cathedrals, Father John would go out into the noisy, dirty, crime-ridden slums and back alleys of the city.
He would find someone down and out in the gutter, sleeping off the effects of the previous night’s drink and activities. Father John would cup his chin; look him in the eyes and say, “This is beneath your dignity. You were created to house the fullness of God.” Wherever he went, people found new hope and optimism because they discovered, or were reminded, of who they were. Seeing ourselves in the light of who God made us to be is both exciting and contagious.
So, are you housing the fullness of God today? If you are full of despair and hopelessness because of the current economic situation, I doubt there is room for much else. If you are angry and resentful because your stocks crashed or you lost your job, I suspect that is what people will first notice about you.
Can you remember what you were created for? When I hear people complain about how bad their lives are I’m going to start saying, “This is beneath your dignity. You were created to house the fullness of God.”