I read another list last week. Twenty Women Leaders Under 40 You should Know.
There are so many of these lists it’s hard to keep them straight. But in case you’re wondering, I’m not on this list and you probably aren’t either. Especially if you’re a guy.
I’m not under 40. I don’t speak to thousands of people. I’m not beautiful or edgy or cool or a dynamic leader. I don’t have hordes of “followers”. I don’t belong on the list. I had no remote expectation or even awareness that there WAS a list til I stumbled across it. But still…I felt less than when I read it. Can you relate?
There are some great women on that list! Some of them I consider to be friends and I’m thrilled that they are being affirmed, but still…after I felt “small” in comparison, I got angry. I got angry and I considered titling this post, “Lists are from the Devil”. But then I thought that was a tad dramatic and would make me sound like one of those crazy “fundies”. Honestly though, I think that title would be pretty accurate.
What do lists like this accomplish? Twenty women feel special and important and the millions of people not on THE LIST who are making small courageous, sacrificial choices, sometimes just “showing up” each day, are tempted to believe the lie that Satan loves to whisper.
YOU know the whisper: “They matter, but you don’t.”
So, I’m publishing my own list. My list is made up of the 7 billion people in the world who will never be on a list that is Tweeted about or written up in a newspaper or magazine. My list is The Top 7 Billion People You Should Know About.
My list includes Betsy who has MS, but painfully crawls out of bed each day with the help of a caregiver and prays for others in our church.
And Eric who is 12 and moved here from another country, with English as his 4th language, trying to ignore the taunts of other adolescent boys as he struggles to learn to read.
Rhonda is on my list. A young woman who moved to Indonesia 20 years ago with her husband and eventually, kids, living sacrificially to serve the Muslim people with the love of Jesus.
And Loveness, Givison, Michael, and Sakina, our World Vision sponsored children in remote parts of the world for whom each day is a mountain of poverty to climb.
There’s Christopher too. A young man with a good heart who’s stumbling through life, grasping, searching for God though he doesn’t know it.
And you. You are on my list because wherever you are in the world you need to know you matter.
You may have wounds that no one knows about and challenges that no one sees and you’ll make brave choices and small sacrifices today. You’ll make mistakes too and you’ll fall down and stub your toe but you’ll get back up and keep going.
Yes, keep going.
Bottom line? I don’t think God is a god of lists (at least not this kind). Lists seem to be too much like assigning “places of honor at the table”…not exactly a kingdom deal. So it really it’s no biggie that you’re on “my” list, but maybe the this will make a difference…
“You have searched me, Lord, and you Know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” Ps. 139:1-5.
If God has a list, you’re on it. How do you make it? Just breathe. And know that you matter. You are loved.