There is always something we can learn. When we are through learning and growing – we’re through!
This month I learned a little bit about responsibility. I had jury duty for the first time. It was an experience on several different levels, but it was certainly a learning experience. Jury duty in the United States is a responsibility of every American. That doesn’t make it fun though.
Jury duty is a vital part of the judicial system. It allows every citizen the opportunity to aid in the upholding of law and order and to assist in assuring that justice prevails for fellow citizens. Jury duty is a unique part of our culture in America.
I made several observations while serving jury duty, generally speaking that is. Most people did not want to be there, they were there because they legally had to be. It wasn’t fun. It was long, boring, and somewhat of a nuisance. Very few would volunteer for jury duty. Serving jury duty is probably not on someone’s bucket list. However, for the most part people took it seriously and were there to serve. They knew they had a responsibility.
Jury duty is a lot like life. We have a responsibility to certain things and certain people. Life is not a big carnival where we eat cotton candy and drink soda-pops. We do things we don’t like and don’t want to do – because we have a responsibility to do so. As my pastor said this past Sunday, “This is a workboat – not a cruise ship!”
I don’t like to change diapers but I had a responsibility to my children to change them. I don’t like to pay bills but I’m responsible to do so. This isn’t news to any of you – we all know that we have to do some things we don’t like. It’s part of life and part of our jobs – we are responsible because we care.
But what are some things we might be responsible for that we don’t think about? Are we responsible for our neighbors? And who is our neighbor? Might God ask us to get dirty in the life of a “neighbor” – to do something we don’t like and aren’t comfortable with – in order to minister to them? If we aren’t responsible then who cares. “Not my problem.” But if we are responsible …
You may not be ready to serve on jury duty tomorrow, but if you receive a letter calling you to duty then you have a responsibility to show up and serve. Might God be sending you a similar letter calling you to appear for duty?
You may not be ready. You may not really be willing. But it is your responsibility to appear and serve. Of course we can always choose to disregard the letter and do our own thing. We face the consequences of that of course. When we forgo our God ordained responsibility we miss out, because at the other end of responsibility is victory and reward.
Fargo, a 2012 movie, tells the story of Tony Mendez, a CIA operative tasked with getting six people out of Iran after activists storm the US embassy in Tehran in 1979. These six found refuge at the home of the Canadian ambassador, but had no way out of Iran. Mendez prepares these people to leave through a “cover” that has been made for them. The night before their scheduled departure the entire plan is scrapped, meaning Mendez is off the hook and these six people will undoubtedly be found and captured. This is what Mendez tells his boss …
“Somebody’s responsible when things happen, Jack. I’m responsible. I’m taking them through.”
Mendez stepped up. He took on responsibility. At that moment he was called to do more than his job because his job was to leave these folks stranded. Tony Mendez accepted responsibility, and he got them all home safe.
In his book Stepping Up, John Izzo quotes Devin Hibbard, “Stepping up is seeing a need and deciding you are the right person to do something about it!” Then Izzo says, “Whatever reasons you have to say you are not the right person, you can be sure that someone else had those same thoughts and stepped up to get something done.”
Who’s responsible? I am. I can only speak for me. I am responsible for what God has called me to. I am responsible for telling the The Four Corners Home for Children story, for connecting with potential donors, and for bringing in new funds. Far more than that – I am responsible for whatever God calls me to today. It may be part of my job or it may not be. Ready or not I choose to appear before my King because He has called me to serve!
Great things can happen when one person decides to step up! Just imagine for a moment what could happen if everyone said, “I’m responsible”, and stepped up to the task. What could be possible then? Together – let us step up, take responsibility, and “take them through.”
– Randall Jeffrey