By Courtney Veasey, Director of Women’s Academic Programs
Imagine for a minute that in an encounter with Jesus, He tells you He has written down on a piece of paper that you can keep, a statement describing what His specific calling is for your life. He then pulls out another piece of paper and goes on to say that He is even willing to write out His daily instructions on a separate sheet for you, brand new every single day. In a state of excitement and relief at the thought of no longer having to agonize about what exactly you think God wants you to do in life, much less on a daily basis, you gladly embrace His generosity, and lunge forward to take the papers from Him. But Jesus pulls the papers back and away from your reach and says, “Not so fast…” “I knew it couldn’t be that easy,” you think to yourself. “I’m going to give you this one paper with the specifics of your life call written on it, and then this other with My daily instructions for you,” He says, “but I’m not going to include punctuation marks at the end of any sentence, I’m leaving that part for you to do.”
Fourteen punctuation marks are commonly used in the American English language. These are: the period, question mark, comma, exclamation point, dash, semicolon, colon, hyphen, parenthesis, braces, apostrophe, brackets, quotation marks, and ellipses. If you had to pick, which of these best reflects your reactions and/or daily attitudes towards the life and tasks God has called you to? Consider the difference a punctuation mark can make:
Jesus has called me to church leadership.
Jesus has called me to church leadership?
Jesus has called me to church leadership…
Jesus has called me to church leadership!
On any given day, our attitudes towards God’s work for us can fluctuate between any and all of these given punctuation marks! “You want me to give away this food I just paid for?” “You want me to go over and talk to her…” “God told me to work the nursery today.” But I have a hunch, there’s just something about that exclamation mark that our Lord is fond of.
In Genesis 1:26, the freedom language of the Bible begins when God announces that mankind is to rule over all else He has made. That word rule in the Hebrew, radah, can mean “to tread” as with grapes, with the idea being that “God gives us the grapes, but we make the wine.” You and I are left to choose how we will react to the life callings and daily tasks He gives us. Knowing this, I’ve lately been considering how my mindset and attitude in a way punctuates those sentences God writes out over my life. And though I’m not always there, I find myself wanting to finish each day, and ultimately my life, in exclamation over what He has said! “God has called me to teach!” “God has called me to lead!” “God has called me to pray!” What about you? Which punctuation mark will finish His sentences for your life?