Our friend Jon Acuff just released his new book, Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job. We’ve appreciated his work for quite a while, so we invited him to share a few thoughts with the Swerve community.
The truth about being a nobody.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to speak at a fun LifeChurch.tv event. While introducing me to the audience, Craig dropped one of those grenade sentences he’s so great at. Here is what he said:
“Three years ago, Jon was a nobody with a passion.”
I love that sentence because it’s the opposite of what so many of us think.
When it comes to chasing our dreams, to stepping out into big adventures with God, we often think we need to “be somebody.” When God puts a desire in our hearts or awakens us to a cause he wants us to run toward, we often think, “Who am I to do that?” We imagine that before God can really use us, we need to become somebody. We look at our lives and our gifts and discount them in comparison to the people around us.
“I like to write, but I’m no Donald Miller.”
“I like to serve, but it’s not like I could do what Charity Water does.”
“I like to sing, but it’s not like I’m Chris Tomlin.”
“I like to __________, but I could never _________.”
So we don’t get started. We think that being a nobody with a passion is no place to start a new mission. If we had more money, more time, more anything, then we’d begin. If we were somebody, then we could do big kingdom work. But I think the reality is that nobodies are God’s favorite people to use.
Look at Gideon, a nobody from a nobody family who was hiding when God called him.
Look at David, considered such a nobody by his own father he wasn’t even initially called in from the field when Samuel asked to meet Jesse’s sons.
Look at the disciples, a nobody crew of fisherman until they bumped into Jesus.
The Bible is littered with examples of people who were nobodies with a passion. People who God transformed. People who God called to big missions. People who God used to change the world.
I don’t know what God has in store for you. I don’t know if he’s calling you to start a non-profit or a conversation with a neighbor at your mailbox. But along the way if you ever feel like a nobody, don’t worry.
It’s OK to be a nobody, those are God’s favorite people to use.