We Southerners have a real sense of place. For us, it’s not just enough for the place to be home; it’s got to be the “home place.” Often, we live where one generation after another has walked the same paths and loved the same land. We know what it means to “belong” to a place and among a people.
So what happens when we find ourselves somewhere we don’t quite fit?
What happens when we wake up one morning on the far side of our comfort zones?
What happens when where we are doesn’t seem to match who we are?
Let me tell you: this is a road I’ve traveled, and it’s a tough one.
For the hard places don’t always have to be the far away ones.
Once, long ago, when I was struggling to decide just where God wanted me to be, someone asked me, “What do you think God’s will for you is?”
The answer I gave him has stuck with me.
Weaving my old car through Nairobi traffic, I told him, “I think God’s will for me is not so much about where I am as who I am. I think his will for me is to know him and make him known, to love him and the things he loves. I can do that wherever I am.”
I can share Christ right here just as readily as any other place I’ve been.
I can teach his word without traveling the world.
My purpose on this earth is more important than my exact location in it.
Yours is, too.
Does God have plans for our places? Absolutely!
It’s just we don’t always see them. We find ourselves in places or situations that don’t seem to fit what we thought God was doing, and we are tempted to question everything he’s shown us. We question our purpose. We question our gifts. We question him.
We waste time wondering about where we are and lose sight of who we are.
“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Be sure to read along this month as I share “31 Things I Want My Kids to Know.”