By Ruth Amos
I was raised in a missionary family (in Australia) and we were always encouraged to share the gospel with others. I have been a part of children’s camps, door knocking, street drama, one-on-one conversations with strangers in the street, prayer walks, church child and youth ministry, worship leading, you name it, I’ve probably done it.
I’ve been trained to jump out of my comfort zone and stretch myself and share the Good News with anyone and everyone. I have almost felt that if I don’t feel uncomfortable, then maybe I’m not doing enough for God. Maybe I’m not doing God’s will.
Now, I’m an introvert. Living in mission communities, going on camps, talking to complete and utter strangers - these things are not me! I can do them, I’m socially able and I’ve been both formally and informally trained to do this kind of thing since infancy. But these activities, well, they don’t belong in my happy place.
What is my happy place? It’s sitting in my study, reaching into my imagination, putting words on a page. I love writing.
I hear many authors say that they love ‘having written’ rather than the writing itself, but I tell you - compared to a youth camp, writing is wonderful. And having written is even better!
But the question I struggle with is ‘am I doing enough?’
It takes a long time to write a novel, especially when working full time and helping out at church and raising a family. And I wonder whether it is ok to go on turning down ‘ministry opportunities’ just so that I can sit in my happy place and write. You have to say no to some things to say yes to writing, but does God want me to say no to these obvious kingdom building activities so that I can say yes to being comfortable by myself at home?
And look, if I knew that my little novel could be as successful in reaching people for Jesus as, say, the Narnia series, then of course the sacrifice would be worth it. But I don’t know what its impact will be at all. My novel that I’m spending years working on might not even be published. It might be ripe for the rubbish bin. I’ve heard that first novels often are.
How is that God’s plan?
Where are the results?
How am I kingdom building while sitting in my study working on my craft?
But here’s the thing: God doesn’t want me for what I can do for him. God just wants me. All of me. He wants a relationship with me.
I’ve been encouraged by several podcast and interviews of do-ers to whom God has said ‘I just want you to stop and worship.’ People like Phil Vischer of Veggie Tales, and Bill Myers - McGee and me. Both of these men were working full-on for God when God stopped them in their tracks and told them that they needed to stop doing, and start being more fully in relationship with Him.
God loves me. Full stop. Not because of what I do, not for how many people I bring into the kingdom. I mean, let’s be honest - He does all the bringing anyway.
Sometimes God asks us to jump out of our comfort zones and stretches us, and sometimes he uses the gifts and personalities he’s given us and asks us to do what is beautifully comfortable.
And what we need to do? We need to be willing. Ready. We need to LOVE the Lord our God.
And we can do that in our studies, our supermarkets, on the street, in camps, in our families, everywhere.
Let’s work on being like Jesus, lets spend time loving Jesus, and leave the results up to him.
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life"
Ruth's ambition is to lead a quiet life. Some days she is more successful than others. She works three jobs, looks after her family and helps out at church, not to mention the coffee she drinks with friends. She wants to share her quiet life moments here.