Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Galatians 6:4 (MSG)
Take Responsibility – The Here I Am Series – Part 4
Responsibility is at the heart of the phrase: “Here I am.”
Hineni (the ancient Hebrew word for “Here I am”) isn’t about being picked or chosen or sent. It’s about listening and seeing and taking responsibility.
After Abraham had said “hineni,” he went on to establish a new tribe and a new way of seeing God (more on that in future series).
When Jacob said “hineni,” he wrestled with God, had his name changed, and his children birthed the twelve tribes of Israel.
When Moses said “hineni,” he went on to set his people free after four hundred or more years of slavery in Egypt.
When Samuel said “hineni,” he went on to become one of the first great prophets of Israel. And what does a prophet do? Speak truth to power.
When Isaiah said “hineni,” he went on to become what many believe to be the greatest prophet of Israel, and like above, what does a prophet do?
These aren’t men that were puppets being sent to do a job.
These guys took responsibility for what was happening in them and around them. Here I am, in this political climate, with this health condition, with these people struggling over here, and those people waging war over there. Here I am, eyes open, ears listening, heart soft.
“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Paul, Gal 6:1-5 (MSG).
There are so many saying “It’s not my problem” in our world.
Climate change? Excess waste? Garbage filled ocean? Food quality decline? Not my problem.
Over crowded prisons? Sentencing injustices? Support for victims? Not my problem.
Racism? Misogyny? Gender equality? Equality for all? Not my problem.
We have people who have more money than they’ll ever need, and people who can’t afford what they need, but hey… “not my problem.”
But it is.
Here I am, here we are, in the midst of all of this. Put on this earth, at this time, for this moment. God calls to us through all of life, the good and the bad. He pulls on our hearts and bends our ears and burns our eyes with it all so that we would “make a careful exploration of who we are and the work we’ve been given, and then sink ourselves into that.”
To say “here I am” is to take responsibility for the things happening in you and around you. You are not powerless; you are not weak (even if you feel it). God called an old man (Abraham), a deceiving son (Jacob), a crazy wilderness wanderer (Moses), a child (Samuel), and weird, outspoken guy (Isaiah) – ordinary, normal folk. We only think they were extra special because we can read about them hundreds and thousands of years after their story was first told.
But they were just people who opened their eyes and woke up and did what they could.
And we can all do that.
Written by Lizzy Milani