Barking Dogs and Sleeping Lions
"Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise … the weak things of the world to shame the strong … the lowly things of the world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him."1
Washington Irving is credited with having made the remark that "a barking dog is often more useful than a sleeping lion." Another way of saying the same thing is that "the race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running."
One of the encouraging aspects about God is that you don't have to be an expert or anything out of the ordinary for him to use you. God uses people just like you and me. Consider, for example, the men Jesus chose to be his disciples: a couple of fishermen, a despised tax gatherer, a traitor, and so on. They did, however, spend three years with Jesus, the Master Teacher to equip them for service.
Jesus himself didn't attend college or seminary (or the equivalent in his day) but chose as his profession to be a carpenter as was his earthly father.
For God to use us, all we need to do is to be available and faithful to his calling. One of my daily prayers is: "Dear God, I'm available. Please make me usable and use me today to be as Christ to my family, to someone in need, and in some way to every life I touch."
What a difference we Christians would make in our family, in our church, and in our world if every one of us would pray this prayer and mean it—every day!
"Dear God, I'm available. Please make me usable and use me today to be as Christ to my family, to someone in need, and in some way to every life I touch. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (NIV).