by Hanna Schulz
Do you like routine?
The vast majority of us would probably raise our hands. Personally, routine freaks me out.
Maybe it’s the young, “millennial” in me, but nothing terrified me more about my post-college life than stepping into the routine part of adulthood – aka, a full time job. Such restriction! Going to work every day, eventually settling into a nice little home with the route of my favorite restaurants memorized, and sinking into the normalcy of this new life.
It’s normal, right? Routine is normal. Routine is good. Maybe some of you are like me and started out with a fear of routine, but as the years have passed, you’ve learned to love it. We have to, right? For those of you type A personalities – don’t worry – I’m not about to rant about the negativity of routine. However, I will be so bold as to say, especially as Americans, we let the normalcy of routine stop us from jumping out at opportunities the Lord places before us. We keep our routine blinders on, go from point A to point B, and don’t let anything or anyone change it.We let the normalcy of routine stop us from jumping out at opportunities the Lord places before us. Click To Tweet
As I started my job in August, I quickly began to accept my new life’s schedule. I would wake up early, go to work, tiredly come home from work, eat dinner, and attempt to go to bed at a seemingly decent time (which is still very difficult for this night owl). Then, repeat. Two weeks passed, and a part of me felt like I was going crazy. “Is this all there is?”
In the book of Acts we are able to read the story of the early church and how it unfolds. Paul and many other followers of Jesus are traveling all throughout the land just to share the gospel with people. In Acts 8:26, an angel of the Lord says to Philip, “Go south to the road — the desert road — that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza,” and immediately Philip starts going. As he’s walking, he comes across an Ethiopian eunuch in a chariot who had been to Jerusalem to worship. As the eunuch was reading the book of Isaiah, Philip felt the Spirit tell him to stay near the chariot. As Philip hears him reading from Isaiah, he asks, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The eunuch answers, “How can I, unless someone explains it to me?” Essentially, Philip shares the fullness of the good news of Jesus with the eunuch, who believes and is baptized on this same route.
Now, I know Philip isn’t necessarily in some type of every day routine — in fact, he spends a lot of time traveling — but, he still steps out and takes the opportunities laid out before him. We’re on this path of life, where maybe all we have is “Go south to the road,” and we think, “Okay, now what?” So if you’re on this road, even if you’ve been on this road for years, what opportunities have you been missing? Maybe it will require us being uncomfortable, or doing something a little different in our every day routines.
The Spirit tells Philip to stay near the chariot, then Philip takes initiative and shares the gospel with this guy, whose life is then changed. Before this, the eunuch’s worship is empty and meaningless — he doesn’t even understand it. You know when you feel the Spirit urging you to do something. Don’t take the copout of “Oh well the Lord was speaking to Philip way more clearly than He does to me.” No, that’s not true. Philip had the same Spirit we have today.
Ask for opportunities and then expect the Lord to show up. Because He will. Philip had to actually take that opportunity. (Also, Philip just asks him about what he’s reading — easy conversation starter, am I right?)
As the weeks passed by, I started venturing out. I stopped going home straight after work. I stumbled upon this local coffee shop where I’ve been able to make many new friendships, and have gospel conversations with believers and non-believers. I’ve played soccer with strangers at the park. Now, this isn’t to say that I’m awesome. I asked for opportunities and Jesus gave them to me. But this requires being uncomfortable, talking to strangers. And I’ve failed many times; ignored clear opportunities many times. But praise the Lord that He is faithful and still at work.
So think about your every day life. When you’re walking down this road, are there any chariots you’re passing by? What if the person in that chariot is craving to know more about this Jesus you follow — but what if they never do because you don’t step out in faith and take the opportunity.