Are you a random person?
A few years ago, I was crossing the border from Canada back into the United States (in a rental car) and was pulled over for inspection. It ended up being extremely arduous and nerve-racking. The agents looked through every nook and cranny of the car and made me go into a secured room, empty out my pockets and take everything out of my wallet, laying the contents on a table. They even had me take my socks off, and they checked the bottoms of my feet. Good thing I hadn’t placed any bazookas or flamethrowers in my shoes that morning!
When I asked what the reason was for them showing so much concern regarding my crossing the border, they told me it was just a random check; it had nothing to do with me specifically. I told them next time I’ll cross when I’m not random!
So, are you a random person? What do I mean by that? Right now, there are about 8 billion people on this planet, and many more have lived and died prior to this point in time. God created every one of them. Some of them became very famous and accomplished great things. Many Christians have been extremely gifted by God and have accomplished amazing things. Even today, many Christians are doing remarkable things, though you may never have heard of them and probably never will.
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that some people are so gifted and have the ability to do tremendous things for the Lord, but the rest of us are kind of just “filler,” taking up space and occasionally doing something positive. but it still pales in comparison to what others have accomplished.
Well, guess what? You’re not “filler.” You’re not “inconsequential.” You’re not “random.” Think about this. Do you really think the all-powerful, all-knowing God would create this entire universe, including our planet, have a plan to “fix” the problems that we caused which ultimately involved the crucifixion and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, then gift a few special people to help evangelize the world. At the same time the rest of us, well, we’re just “extras” on a Hollywood studio set? That’s kinda a rhetorical question and kinda not.
You are NOT a random person, one out of 8 billion! God cares about and is aware of you as much as He’s been aware of anyone in the history of the world! Let that sink in for a minute; go ahead, I’ll gladly wait.
Here’s another piece of trivia to put this into perspective. According to Astronomy.com, our universe has an estimated 200 billion trillion stars. I think there might be one more because they missed one. 🤣 I don’t know about you, but I’d say that’s a lot of stars! That’s more than you can shake a stick at, whatever that is supposed to mean. Actually, I know what it means, but its etymology is uncertain. Let’s put this in perspective. If you could count 1 million stars every second (impossible, but humor me), it would still take you over 6 billion years to count them all! And can you imagine if, after, say, 5 billion years, someone interrupts you, and you lose count and have to start all over again?
Alright, with a general understanding of how many stars God created, I’ll make two further points:
1. When God inspired Moses to write the details of the creation account in Genesis 1, in the middle of the passage, referring to these numerous heavenly bodies we’ve been discussing, He simply says, “He made the stars also.” Kinda like, “Oh, yeah, by the way, I made 200 billion trillion stars, too.”
2. Psalms 147:4 states, “He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.” Two points with this. God doesn’t need billions of years to count the stars He created; He can do it instantly. More importantly, He calls them by name! What does that mean? I don’t know, seriously, other than it would appear they all have names. That’s mind-boggling! Don’t you think you’d run out of ideas after a couple hundred? We would, but He didn’t.
The main point here is that if God cares enough about the stars (inanimate objects) to number them and name them, how much more does He care about you?
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit[c] him? (Psalm 8:3-4)
I hope you are getting a better feel for who you are. Scratch that—about who you are IN GOD’S SIGHT! When I think about who I am in and of myself, I am just amazed God hasn’t “taken me out” a long time ago. Fortunately, by God’s grace, we have forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ, and will be able to stand faultless before Him on the day of judgment because our debt, which was infinite, has been paid in full!
Many people have favorite Bible verses. I’ve had a few over the years (i.e., I change it once in a while). For years, it was Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” However, I changed it more recently to one that will probably never change. My new favorite verse is Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Quick semi-humorous side note: I remember talking to a good friend about mottos. I said, “Well, you know my motto: ‘Always have a new motto.’ I’ve had that one for over 30 years, and it works well for me!”
Here’s my challenge to you. Don’t live like a “random person.” God has just as much of a specific plan for your life as anyone else who’s ever lived! Seriously! On an Earthly level, your plan might not be as big or flashy as others have been or are. It’s not so much about the overall magnitude of the plan; it is about being faithful to discover the plan and being obedient to follow through.
I have a good friend, who I call “Texas Dan.” He’s probably reading this right now. We met in Fiji when we were both doing missions work there, speaking in public schools, sharing all about not only God, their Creator, but also Jesus Christ, their Savior. It was pretty amazing, but it will have to be another story for another time. What I appreciate about Dan more than anything else is his commitment to be used by God in any way possible, at any time. He’s constantly sharing his faith, no matter where he goes. Have more people heard of Billy Graham than Texas Dan? Yep. Has Billy Graham reached more people? Yep. It doesn’t matter. Dan is being faithful to what God is calling him to do, and that’s what counts. God has just as much of a specific plan for Dan as he did for Billy Graham--very different plans, albeit of no lesser importance. Billy was accountable for what he was called to do, and Dan is accountable for what he is called to do, and he’s doing it!
The same goes for you and me. So, the million-dollar question is, “Do you know what God is calling you to do (big or small), and are you pursuing, being willing and available?”
You’re not random. We are not put on this planet to grow up, go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, retire, grow older, and then die. Yes, your life will most likely follow that path, but those aren’t the critical things. Your efforts towards personal evangelism matter most to God. He may bless you along the way with all those other things, but those should not be the primary focus of our lives.
Just something to think about as you enter into this new year and what plans you have. I’ve heard it said, “Want to make God laugh? Just tell Him your plans!” Kinda funny, but also something to think about. Are your plans those He gave you, or are they just a casual part of your random life?