When my son was younger we had some difficult times with teachers. However, one teacher gave us hope! She seemed to see something beyond a young boy who wouldn’t sit still, listen or confirm to the standard box of “normal” first graders. She was sweet and kind and encouraging and she shared with us that the last thing she wanted to do as a teacher was to stifle that spirit and that uniqueness that made Nixon who he was. She was one of those rare teachers that adjusted her methods to reach her students rather than expecting those young students to adjust to her.
As I read in Numbers 14:24 about Caleb and how he is described as having a different spirit, I remembered this teacher and my own boy and thought about the few people in this world who have the courage to be different. Far too often we want to fit in the mold, do it like everyone else and not stand out, because…what if we are wrong?
When I looked up the word used to describe Caleb’s spirit the definition given was “disposition of various kinds, often unaccountable and uncontrollable impulse.” I am quite sure I used those same words to describe my son and I did not use them in a favorable fashion. Yet here I am, 4 years later and God is still using those moments to teach me lessons. Just maybe it is okay to have a different spirt – if spirit is under obedience of Our Lord.
Caleb could have been just like the other spies and other Israelites, but he was different and thus we find in Joshua 14:8 that Caleb followed God completely! While the others lost heart, Caleb was obedient and not just a little bit but completely! And Caleb was patient to see his reward. In fact, 45 years patient (that’s just a little bit less than my whole life time). The Bible tells us that Caleb stayed strong and did not neglect his daily tasks and ultimately, he was granted his reward and rest! Isn’t that we all want in the long run? Reward and rest!
We all have a mission field! That mission field does not have to be big and it does not have to be scouting foreign lands. Your mission field is wherever God puts you – in your home, with your family, your workplace, the Walmart checkout line and even on social media!
As I reflect on this lesson, I asked myself and now I ask you – Am I modeling complete obedience? Am I taking God with me or am I trying to go at it alone?
Where is your mission field today?
How can you celebrate having a different spirit that shows God you want to be like my son Nixon and like Caleb and not easily stuffed into a pre-described box?
Who else around you is showing a different spirit that needs to be celebrated?
God created us all individually – we are one of a kind and a piece of his workmanship- let’s rejoice in our differences today!