We live in a world of extremes.
Radical. Fierce. Unstoppable. Amazing. Fearless.
If you’ve been in Westernized Churches for any length of time you have probably heard this term used once or twice. They denote a call to mission, a call to act or a battle cry for a movement in the Kingdom of the Lord. They inspire action and drive to motivate people to do incredible things for God. They call people to catapult out of their comfort zones into ministry that make even the boldest of believers to second guess their own mission field. Perhaps a call to sell everything they have and live as a minimalist or maybe to travel to a land that is not only hostile to the Gospel but also to the safety of self.
When we hear stories of these radical calls we question our own value in the Kingdom. We may ask ourselves “am I doing enough?” or “is God calling everyone to this extreme?” The work, the passion and the drive of those making these moves can often make us feel like we aren’t doing enough or at least to feel the things we do in our day to day lives aren’t nearly as important as those building wells under hostile fire.
But what if God’s call in our lives isn’t radical, fierce, fearless or “amazing”? What if God’s calling us to excellence in the ordinary? What if God’s “radical” calling is simply to work in an office or homeschool our children? What if God has placed us somewhere that we consider mundane or normal?
Big movements and exciting buzzwords catch our attention. They bring us to feel that we are doing something fantastic that is unthinkable and one-of-a-kind. They fill church seats, fill the coffers, fill our minds with incredible fantasies that are often outside our reach. At times they put such emphasis on our own doing, they sometimes leave God completely out of the equation or at the very least use God as a brand for their momentum.
We can get so caught up in the future of fantasy that we ignore or forget what is Five Feet in front of us. We think that what we do day to day isn’t good enough.
Am I saying that God doesn’t work in extravagance? Of course not! God has done incredible things through people in pushing His church in the direction He wills it to grow. What I am saying is that every single day, every moment, every person or situation that is Five Feet in front of us is a moment for fierce, radical, unstoppable or amazing ministry.
The store clerk checking us out, the postman who delivers our mail, our children and our spouses are all a part of our calling into excellence. How often do we take our Five Feet for granted while we pursue the future that is thousands of miles away?
Over the last few years I’ve been reminded of my Five Feet. Last night as I was getting ready to fall asleep, my wife who was dealing with a cold was shivering in bed next to me. As I snuggled next to her to warm her up it dawned on me. This is my call. It’s not to be known or noticed by thousands of people. It is to minister to those that are Five Feet in front of me. My wife, children, friends and neighbors. Those who I see or talk to every day, they are my radical calling. Sure, some people are called to missionary work, some are called to plant churches in dangerous environments, but most are called to be excellent in the ordinary and if we continue to force some monumental movement, we miss those Five Feet in front of us.
What I am writing about isn’t a new revolutionary idea. It would be a lie to say that there haven’t been others before me trying to encourage the Body of Christ to embrace the ordinary ministry in front of them. To those men and women I must give thanks and credit. They have seen the every day ministry in their lives and have done well to promote the confidence in those around them to strive for the normal. They are champions of the here and now and have been serving in their Five Feet for a long time now.
What I hope to do is to bring us back down to Earth and refocus our minds on bringing God the glory in our routine daily responsibilities. If you are a parent, a co-worker, a supervisor or just a plain believer in the church, you have a calling in your Five Feet. You have been chosen by God to do great things in your sphere of influence. You have been called to love, to serve and to sacrifice for those you come into contact with. You are called into the Great Commission to spread the Gospel and make disciples and those disciples are in your Five Feet.
Let us take a small journey together and explore our Five Feet. We will be reminded of the areas in our lives that we can sometimes ignore because it feels “normal”. This doesn’t mean that God isn’t calling people into the extraordinary realm of ministry, He certainly does but what I think this means is that every ministry opportunity, every word spoken or relationship had is as extraordinary as the extreme. If we are excellent in the ordinary we are fulfilling the calling of God in our lives and “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (C0l 3:17 ESV)