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Friday, May 29, 2020

Born For This

My last post was on my 40th birthday.

Fitting, because today I'm joining in on a FMF party with the focus word as "born".

Over 40 years ago, I was born into a loving family. My Mom and Dad had been married for a couple of years. They had a home. They both had college educations. They had jobs... maybe not the best jobs, but jobs nonetheless.

Over 17 years ago, my son, Caleb, was born into a loving family. His Mom and Dad had been married for a couple of years. We had a home. We had college educations. We both had jobs.

Tonight, as I'm sitting in my home, built in my parent's backyard, I've been thinking a lot about the word born.

Not just because it was this week's prompt, and I've been determined to get back into writing and Five Minute Friday gives me a good way to do that...

but because as I'm sitting in the safety of my home I'm thinking about how the word born signifies a dividing line.

I was born for such a time as this... just like Esther. God had a purpose and plan for me...

but I was also born into a privilege that a lot of people aren't.

And while I don't question God, or His purposes, I can't help but think about how the dividing line seems to be chance.

Where we are born... the circumstances which greet us when we first come out of the womb and blink in the bright lights... it can determine the entire trajectory of our life.

Somewhere, on the other side of the world, somebody is being born into abject poverty. Somewhere, in America, there is someone being born who won't be loved. Somewhere, in a land far, far away, or nearer than I can even imagine, there is a baby being born in a seemingly hopeless situation.

I don't know why it's like that. I don't know why good things happen for "bad" people or why bad things happen to "good" people or even how we sometimes distinguish between the two... but I do know this.

I was born in 1979. I was raised in church. I grew up wading in the creek and feeling the dirt in between my toes and learned to lose myself in a good story. I was born with the ability to take words and sometimes make them make sense, sometimes make somebody feel good. I was born into a family that is slightly crazy, that loves to laugh and sometimes cares to fight, and lives a legacy of seeking how to serve others.

I was given the opportunity to go to school. I was blessed to go to college. I can read. I have a Bible in my living room, access to His Word on my Kindle, my phone, my computer... not just one Bible, actually, but three in my living room. I am in the top 95% of the American population regarding educational status.

Yes, I worked hard for that degree... I work hard in my job...

but I was also born with the opportunity and the family who pushed me to pursue it. They believed in me, even when I didn't believe in myself.

Please don't think that I say any of this proudly. I have been proud in the past... but sitting here tonight I am humble when I say that I realize that some of this is by chance... because of where I was born.

And I don't take it lightly.

If you are reading this, you are more well off than most of the people in the world.

Read that again. Even in our severe poverty in Appalachia...

Almost 1/2 of the world's population lives on less than $6 dollars a day.

With great privilege comes great responsibility.

Yes, it's a Spiderman quote, but the Bible says something similar.

"To whom much is given, much will be required."

Think on that... and may we allow God to use us for what we were born to do.

Love Him.

Love each other.

In word... but also in action.

Born... for such a time as this.

Even when it's hard.

Especially so, perhaps...