Pioneers are often abused, rejected, and ridiculed. It is easy to ridicule the ignorance of those that scoffed at Moses and Noah. One looks back in history with admiration at explorers like Shackleton, though his peer reviews during his lifetime were often mixed. Business pioneers often failed as often as they succeeded. I am not sure why anyone would imagine things would be different, yet every visionary believes things can, could, or might be different.
As I reflect on those that lead, there is a deeply disturbing pattern emerging from their stories. Pioneers are often mistreated, even when they do not deserve it. History makers are often recognized when success can be seen through a rear view mirror. Communities often ignore great artists while the generations that follow treasure their work. When one writer posted a rhetorical observation, “Was there ever a prophet who didn't get the same treatment? Your ancestors killed anyone who dared talk about the coming of the Just One.” (Acts 7.52) He was not complaining so much as stating a blunt and harsh fact.
It is in this setting that I wonder why God calls you and I to be history makers. God knows our communities will likely reject us. God understands that we will not be valued. God anticipates that our burdens will be greater for taking the call. Yet, God also knows that it is a calling worthy of Divinity. We are invited to participate in God's work. We are given tools of compassion, hope, and love and asked to use them in daily living. We are encouraged to be God's voice of acceptance, embracing those that others shun. We are empowered to be a witness to a truth that recognizes others as members of God's family.
The pattern of how the world responds to pioneers need not control our path. We have a God given freedom within and we can use it any manner of our choosing. Today is an opportunity to live through God's pattern for living, loving, and leading. It can touch every aspect of being alive.
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