We're All Plumbers

I have no formal training in almost everything I do on a daily basis.  Sure there are things like driving that I took driver’s ED for and perhaps I had someone show me some cooking tips or how to pour milk on my cereal when I was a kid, but for the most part none.  For those that don’t know, I went to four years of college and ended up with a Biology degree.  I was one of the lucky few who actually used my degree for about five years, but not now.  It’s been well over a decade since I’ve really utilized a skill I was intentionally trained for.  I’m not saying that’s a horrible thing, it’s just fact.  I may be going out on a limb here, but I’d say that almost everyone reading this is in a similar boat.  Even if you do utilize the skills you’re trained in everyday, I bet most of what you do on a day to day basis has been learned through life’s trial and error.  I know we pick things up by watching other people, but that’s just it…we’ve seen someone do it, all of a sudden it’s our turn to give it a try, and we just do it!  Not much thinking involved like it’s instinctual.

The question I’ve been kicking around is why do we disqualify ourselves from trying new things because of lack of experience?  All the while we cope with new problems on a daily basis that we’ve never been trained for.  We just problem solve and get them done.  Case in point: the other day I went underneath my house in the crawl space to grab something I had stored under there.  I noticed a large puddle of water, heard a hissing sound, and traced it back to a nice leak spraying out from one of my hot water lines.  I’m not a plumber.  I’ve never been trained as one, but I’ve seen a few pipes fixed and used the sense that God has given me to handle the issue.  I shut the water off, did a Google search on what the best method to fix it would be, bought the part, and got it done.  Water was back on in about an hour. 

What if I would have seen the leak, and instead of moving forward with what needed to be done, I had turned and walked away because I’m not trained as a plumber.  What if I would have said, “Nope.  Can’t do it.  Not my area of expertise.”  The water would have continued to gush and lead to big problems.  Perhaps one of the best examples is a mom’s intuition with her kids.  Not many moms are trained nurses, but when a problem presents itself with one of their kids, they instantly go into action and problem solving mode.  No hesitation.  We have no problems moving forward and fixing something when the beneficiary is ourselves or someone close to us, but what about when we won’t benefit?  Is that when we hesitate?  Could that be the moment when we disqualify ourselves from trying something new because there is no gain for ourselves?

One of the most revolutionary truths for me in the Bible is when Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man (himself) did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45

Think for just one moment about every story you’ve ever heard of someone doing something great that’s touched your heart.  They all involve someone doing something for someone else.  That’s just how God set things up to work.  Can I just get it over with right now and let you know that there are very few schools and training programs available that are to going to give you skills on how to live a selfless life.  Pretty much anything that God asks you to do you will not be “qualified” for according to human standards.  I’ve spent the last several weeks talking about the true identity that God has placed in you so that you will soon realize that the only true qualification is the one God put in you when He created you.  Listen to the instructions Jesus gave his twelve disciples before sending them out for the very first time to do what they had seen Jesus do!

“These were his instructions: ‘Take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.  Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.  Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.  And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.’  They went out and preached that people should repent.  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” Mark 6:8-12

I’m sorry…but are you kidding me!  These guys left their day jobs to follow Jesus, they watched him serve others and heal them, their instructions were in the form of stories, and now he tells them to go out and do the exact same thing he has been doing but don’t take any supplies for the journey…and they do it!  Crazy?  Or was it a beautiful model of apprenticeship for a selfless life, followed by an act of bravery by a bunch of underqualified guys who simply said, “Ok. We’ll go.”  Here’s the part I really want to stress.  If they hadn’t gone, and trust me they had some logical reasons not to, those people would still have been sick and demon possessed.

I’m formally trained as a biologist, but God made me as a pastor.  No one ever taught me how to get up in front of a group and preach a message, but God gave me the words, ability, and strength after I said "yes".  I’ve never started a new church, but God instructed me and some other trailblazers to go even though it doesn’t make sense on paper.  I know there is a burden on your heart to do something grand and seemingly impossible that would benefit others.  That’s how God speaks and that’s how it starts.  He literally places a dream inside each of us that is not self serving.  That’s how you can know it’s from Him.  If you’re looking for a way to get started it begins with a simple “yes” in your heart and He will begin to guide you from there.  If you need some extra pointers just ask one of the disciples, although I might recommend an extra tunic because only one is just gross if you ask me.