The Greatness in Quiet Faithfulness
If my years as an elementary teacher have taught me anything, it is this: Boys don’t dream of becoming benchwarmers. They don’t dream of shuffling papers or sitting on sidelines. They dream of slaying dragons, rescuing princesses, hitting grand slams, and killing bad guys. Boys are hardwired for the pursuit of glory. And they should be.
But as boys grow up into young men, they often find themselves in work clothes instead of battle attire — on the bench rather than on the field. It’s crushing. But what’s worse is that even with this disappointing reality in full view, the dream itself refuses to die. Men watch war movies and envision themselves in the trenches; they attend football games and cannot help but wonder, What if that were me?
How does a man cope with a dream that won’t die?
Thus, friends, family, church, and any other person or responsibility that diverts attention from the dream will be cast to the side. Consider the father whose kids miss him because he frequently stays late at work, the son whose parents are lonely because he no longer has time to call, or the pastor whose extra hours of sermon prep mean his wife is eating dinner alone again. These are the Mr. Incredibles of the world, those who are dead set on reaching for the stars and blind to the God-glorifying mission right before their eyes.
Yet for many more men, the discouragement of dream-chasing is far too much to bear, and they would rather just concede and watch the dream drift out to sea. Slain by the sword of second-string roles and backseat boredom, they take their place on the couch alongside Homer Simpson, Archie Bunker, and a multitude of other emasculated dropouts. Meanwhile, Satan laughs as he picks up their swords and adds them to his trophy case of broken men.
And yet, this perspective is nothing but complete and utter deception — glory fraud. And our sinful hearts are to blame. Satan has spoken the threefold lie that the fight for glory is imagined, unattainable, or located far beyond our ordinary responsibilities and relationships. Thus, the very real battles going on all around us seem to be nothing more than the events of a routine, run-of-the-mill, everyday life.
Our everyday battles are certainly not filled with orcs, dragons, or armed bad guys — if these were our only adversaries, then perhaps we could stand to lighten up a bit. But as it is, we have a far greater foe in the devil himself. This is why the apostle Paul tells us — everyday, ordinary people — to gear up with God’s strength. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
When we realize that this is our battle, we’re sobered to the fact that our dreams of glory were never too large, but too small — not too far away, but right before our eyes. We got caught up in winning trophies on fields or defending land in battles, and failed to recognize that we were already written into a much greater battle for an unimaginably greater prize; namely, hearing the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” spoken by the Creator of the universe (Matthew 25:21). These words are our glory, and they will ring out for all of eternity.
No castle or kingdom, trophy or treasure could ever compare to this.
Growing in Faithfulness
1. YOUR LORD
2. YOUR LOVED ONES
3. YOUR LOST ONES
Brother, let your mind run wild again. But this time, dream of the greatest glory of all: the glory of hearing God say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Great is the glory that awaits the faithful.
Source: Desiring God | Mike Schumann