Thoughts ramble around my brain this morning. Several songs jumping around saying, “Pick me! Pick me!” and yet none fit. I even went to a friends facebook feed wondering if the song she posted as her earworm of the evening would work. Nope. Not it.
And then as I wrote “Pick me! Pick me!” I knew what this post would be about. When Rich Mullins passed away 20 the Countdown Magazine hosted a tribute show interspersing interview snippets and music. Rich spoke of being used and wanted by God. How he’d rather be wanted by God, God can use anybody to accomplish his will. Here’s a link to the full interview.
John Rivers: One of the people who had the privilege of spending some time with Rich Mullins was 20: The Countdown Magazine’s producer Rick Tarrant.
Rich: In terms of the scope of eternity, I really believe that we are dust. I really believe that I will someday be dead no matter how good my songs are. Someday I will decay. I will rot and there will be nothing left.
Rick Tarrant: An old recording of Our God is an Awesome God
Rich: Because I write pop music, it is all very disposable. I think everyone would be surprised twenty years from now that that song will have completely fallen out of use.
Rick Tarrant: I would not be surprised if twenty years from now to hear Awesome God sung in our church.
Rich: Either way you go. In terms of eternity, those people who did the greatest things for God were the people who weren’t trying to do anything at all. They were just simply being obedient
Rick Tarrant: Those are the people God can use.
Rich. Those are the people God can use. And I want to be one of them. If God should use me, that would be great but if He doesn’t there is a very interesting thing you can do. In the gospel of Mark or in any of the four gospels, you go through the gospels and you say, what people are absolutely essential to this story? So Mary is essential to the story because Mary had to give birth to Jesus. And you could say, well someone else could have. But lets say that if she wouldn’t have done it then the story wouldn’t have happened. So, you have God who chose to become flesh, you have Mary who gave Him flesh, you have Jesus who was God in the flesh or who was the child of Mary and God, you have Pontius Pilate who had, in an artificial sense, the power to kill Christ, you have Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ and handed him over to the bad guys, you have whoever it was that nailed Him up to the cross. Out of those people that God used to accomplish His will in the gospel, only a couple of them were very nice people. Most of them were bad people. We all want to be useful to God. Well, its no big deal. God can use anybody. God used Nebuchadnezzar. God used Judas Iscariot. Its not a big deal to be used by God and the shocking thing in the book of Mark, and the reason why it is so shocking is because Mark is the briefest of all the gospels but he has these terrific little details and one of the little details is that it says, “and Jesus called to Him those that He wanted.” And you realize that out of the twelve people that He wanted, only one was essential to His goal in coming to earth. The other eleven people were useless to Christ but they were wanted by Christ. And I kind of go, I would much rather have God want me than have God use me.
Over the last few years I have wanted to be picked. Really wanted to be picked in the Quilting Community. I haven’t wanted to be the “last kid standing waiting to be picked for baseball, basketball, volleyball, etc.” because to some degree it’s rather painful. And yet, there is value in that. Deep, holy value that is not immediately obvious. Getting picked pins my hopes and dreams and value on how others feel about me or perceive me. Getting picked feels good immediately but what about the long term, what about eternity?
I do know what it means and what it feels like to not be picked. It happened over and over and over again. This experiences has allowed 3 very valuable things to happen:
1) a very good, very deep friendship that has taught me so much and I can not adequately express how grateful I am
2) as a teacher I am grateful for my students and my desire is to make sure that the quilters in my class have the best experience they can and know that they are appreciated
3) if I get the book contract I’m grateful; if not I’m grateful
I’m grateful that I get to do this. If the teaching gigs come along I’m grateful. If not, I’m grateful for the opportunity to quilt and do the creative work I love so much. The friendship that has come from all of this I am grateful! Oh so grateful. I am grateful I get to work with some really amazing people with Generation Q Magazine.
I have to say the focus shift from needing to be picked to being grateful for whatever happens was hard, painful work. And oh so worth it!