Last year I read an excellent book by Heidi Baker entitled “Birthing the Miraculous”. In it there are stories upon stories of the amazing way the Lord has blessed her as she ministers to thousands of children in deprived areas of Africa. It’s a truly inspiring read.
However, one part struck me more than any other. The author described how she had wanted to be a ballet dancer in her youth, but an injury had ended that dream. In her words, the Lord had not blessed her with dancing shoes. This disappointment however, led to opportunity as she ultimately went on to establish the incredible ministries which she runs to this day.
Heidi went on to use this example to ask how what we’ve been blessed with should shape our service for God. In her own words (paraphrased by me):
“What shoes are you wearing? If you’ve been blessed with ballet shoes, then dance for God. But if he’s blessed you with lumberjack boots, don’t try and be a ballet dancer!”
Since I became a Christian, five years ago, I have constantly asked the Lord to show me what he wants me to do with my life and the gifts with which he’s blessed me. At times, I think I’ve secretly hoped that his answer would mean being whisked away from my corporate job in a large engineering consultancy, and into full time ministry, overseas mission work or some other “proper” Christian occupation.
And then I read the phrase above.
In the few days prior to that, I had bought a brand new pair of smart, black Oxfords. Business shoes. I’d also been down to one of our London offices (right in the City of London) and was struck by an over whelming thought that the smartly-dressed people around me were as much in need of Jesus’s love and compassion as the people unfortunate enough to have to sleep in shop doorways. In the months since, I’ve felt the same deep compassion for my colleagues where I’m based in Coventry and for the employees of the other organisations on the same business park as us.
It’s taken God a little while to let the picture develop. Or, probably more accurately, it’s taken me a little while to hear what he’s been saying all along! But if God has blessed me with office shoes, then it’s in this corporate environment that I’ll carry out the ministry which he has for me to do.
And having realised that, and submitted to God’s plan, some amazing things are starting to happen!
More to follow…