“I’m going to be an actor!”
The server flashed a grin as he handed us our plates. Self-assured, affable, and handsome. He certainly looked the part. Yet, this was Los Angeles, where it sometimes seems that every other person working in a restaurant is waiting for their big break in the entertainment industry.
“I know it will not be easy, but I just want to act.” While I wanted to be encouraging, I knew the odds were definitely stacked against him, regardless of his talent. I wished him well and made a mental note of his face and name, hopeful that I would someday be rewarded by seeing him reach his dreams.
There are a few professions that will raise eyebrows when mentioned because they are seemingly reserved for an elite few. Actors and professional athletes are just a few, yet even within these categories, there are those who do find work but never achieve the level of success as others who make the headlines. Like the determined server, most willingly chose to pursue these professions in spite of the obstacles. No one forced them into their decisions, even if they knew they would suffer as a result. This is the fulfillment of their lives.
During the 1st century A.D., there were few men as educated or held in higher esteem than the Apostle Paul, or Saul, as he was known by his colleagues. By his own description, he was a Pharisee of Pharisees and Hebrew of Hebrews, educated under Gamaliel, one of the most brilliant Rabbis of the day.
Paul’s zeal for God was evident as he persecuted the radical group of heretics known as Christians, Jews who claimed Jesus Christ was the true Messiah. God intervened in Paul’s life when Jesus Christ revealed His true identity to Paul on the road to Damascus.
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Acts 9:15-16 (ESV)
“I’m going to be a rabbi!”
Paul probably thought this to himself when he was growing up. He would become a zealous leader and teacher, continuing in the great teaching tradition of Gamaliel. Yet, God had other plans for him. Paul did become a rabbi, not only for the Jewish people but for nearly the entire known world, preaching the Gospel and becoming the greatest evangelist of nascent Christianity. Jesus Christ chose him and promised that he would suffer for His name’s sake. Paul answered and accepted the cost of serving God. It was the fulfillment of his life.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.