CLERGY CORNER: C.J.’s final thoughts: why the little things matter

Posted on 12 April 2018 by LeslieM

When you discover that nearly 80 percent of NFL players are either bankrupt or in a financial hardship within three to five years following their career playing football, and that 70 percent of lottery winners become broke, it’s only natural to wonder what happened? While it may seem that a proverbial straw broke the camel’s back, the truth is, whether financial ruin, a plane crash or even an overnight success, it’s never just one thing. Compounded factors, often the little things, added over time become that final piece of straw.

For the NFL players it begins in high school — if not before — as special treatment erodes personal responsibility. Similarly, lottery winners are statistically poor money managers prior to their windfall. It’s a poor decision hours before the crash or the years touring in dive bars and on college campuses before the breakout hit trends on iTunes. We know this, and in “the real world,” we accept and plan for this truth.

Yet, for many, as it applies to matters of faith, we’re waiting for some big, miraculous moment to launch us into action. We gaze longingly at the doers vastly impacting the kingdom and we think they must be special — confusing capacity for faithfulness. And so, we wait upon the Lord neglecting to do our part.

That’s not to say that there aren’t legitimate times to be patient. However, we can’t use spiritual sayings to justify inactivity. In doing so, we’ll miss the powerful and unique ways God wants to use our lives to complete His plan.

For me, my move to Texas was a culmination of little decisions to be faithful — and it didn’t even start with me. I have my family to thank. Because of their faithfulness, I learned to seek and nurture a relationship with God, one that would provide the confidence needed years later to depart my profession as an airline captain and begin working full-time with students. I had to embarrassingly choose to miss a friend’s wedding for financial reasons, but doing so led to chance encounter with an athletic director and school administration who hired me as a coach and teacher. In the classroom I felt called to start a youth ministry.

Then, a choice had to be made: stay as a teacher or go accept a full-time ministry position. God called me to the latter. And in a season of assessing my own personal ministry impact, God revealed a new direction that would draw upon my leadership as a captain, communication skills as a national itinerate speaker, content development and facilitation of such as a teacher and decade of mentoring — [to leave the church at Deerfield Beach as Youth Pastor] and to serve at a thriving church in Lubbock, Texas.

Even in my abbreviated tale, it’s apparent that I did not gather my life and spontaneously decide to move west on a whim, but again, years of a faithful pursuit and obedience led me to do so.

Here’s the kicker: I’m not special. while I might have different gifting and skills, or capacity, they aren’t better or worse than yours. We each can find joy and contentment knowing that we experience game-changing momentum toward reaching the capacity of our calling by abiding in the little things faithfully. God has an incredible plan and purpose for your life just as He does for mine, and they’re both equally exciting and Kingdom-altering because, in the end, it’s not about us. However, the difference will be in the choices we make: whether to treat faith like a lottery, hoping for that big break, or by deciding here and now to live a life worthy of our calling by investing in the seemingly insignificant spiritual disciplines that give power to our prayers, bring wise counsel into our presence and give us the assurance of God’s trustworthiness.

I sign off with this challenge: What is God calling you to today that has the potential to manifest itself into something unimaginable later, to become your Texas? No matter how small it might seem, never underestimate God’s ability to use the ordinary for the extraordinary. Say, “Here I am, Lord,” listen, then go do in faith.

Once the NextGen pastor at The Church at Deerfield Beach, C.J. Wetzler is currently the student pastor at The Message Church in Lubbock, TX. Before transitioning into full-time ministry, CJ was a commercial airline captain and high school leadership and science teacher. He loves to mentor the next generation of leaders and considers himself a fast food connoisseur. For questions or comments, connect with him on social media: @thecjwetzler.

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