A time to be unknown

There is a time to be unknown, a time to be obscure. The length of that time is not yours or mine to determine.

There is a time for Moses to be “just” a shepherd in the wilderness before becoming a shepherd of 3 million people and the greatest revolutionary on the planet before Christ. He went from shepherding to shepherding, from leading sheep to leading God’s chosen people out of slavery to the promised land.

There is a time for Joseph to just be a servant before being one of the greatest servant leaders of all time who preserved a civilization. He went from servanthood to servanthood, from preserving food for a household to preserving food for an empire.

There is a time for David to just be a shepherd boy protecting sheep from lions and bears before being anointed one of the greatest Kings, albeit flawed, who ever lived. David’s renown reaches heaven. He is such an eternal excellency that Jesus’ key is called the key of David. He was unknown and obscure before becoming an eternal excellency. He went from custodianship to custodianship, from protecting sheep from wild animals to protecting people from wild kingdoms. The everlasting ever relevant 23rd Psalm came out of inspiration borne of experience in the trenches.

Most people today want to become great without the required stint in obscurity, shame and seeming hardships. Moses was a fugitive with a “dead” career for 40 years. In today’s world that is failure par excellence because the moment someone is “demoted” to servanthood we consider them or they consider themselves failures. What an upside down world! That would make Jesus a total failure, considering he “stepped down” into servanthood and now permanently wears and serves fallen humanity.

God’s ways never change.

The way up is always down. Even Jesus did not circumvent it. While many seek instant fame, God incarnate, the man who runs the whole universe was unknown for 30 years while He was here and even His 3 years and a half of ministry was as a servant very immersed in the trenches. Those times in the trenches and His eventual suffering and death on the cross became His qualification to be The Mediator between God and man. He has absolutely no competition when it comes to the right to be mankind’s saviour and the answer to all our individual and collective problems for all time.

The desire for greatness is a noble aspiration but prepare for an indefinite period of obscurity. Your release is not exactly in your hands. Joseph had a dream but his release date from slavery and jail were not directly within his control. I do not think Moses knew if or when He would emerge from obscurity and servanthood not to fame but to true servanthood. True greatness is nothing but servanthood. Fame and outward measures of success are mere by-products.

If you want to be “successful” and famous for 2 days and be forgotten please promote yourself and strive for success, comfort and fame. But if your desire is to be so used by God that your relevance and significance as was said about Shakespeare is “not of a time but for all time”, humble yourself, surrender yourself into His hands to season you, to prepare you, to mould you into a servant in obscurity and seeming hardships for as long as He deems necessary.

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