I live unbound to the ideas of who I think I should be; instead I choose to be who God created me to be.
“Let your light shine before others so that they see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” What is your particular light? The most liberating thing I have experienced through my recent change of vocation and development of a non-profit, Fly Fishing Collaborative, is that it has freed me up to reflect God based on who I am. I can live unbound to the ideas of who I think I should be, and instead I can be who God created me to be.
Before Fly Fishing Collaborative ever became a “thing,” a community of my friends and I set out to discover ways to put God on display through who He created us to be. As image bearers and ambassadors of God’s kingdom, we knew there was an element of us being seen in order for God to be seen. Because I love fly fishing and the people in the fly fishing community so much, I wanted them to see who God really is. So we prayed big, bold prayers—prayers that could even be taken the wrong way if you didn’t know our motivation. We prayed prayers like, “God, will You make us famous in the fly fishing community? Will you make us known? Will you give us great favor in the fly fishing world?” These audacious prayers were almost instantaneously answered.
Two things began to take shape as a result of our prayers. First, we began to develop a strong passion for something that God cares deeply about: child trafficking. Sex trafficking of minors is a global industry that generates billions of dollars each year by preying on societies most vulnerable. When we began to join in the effort to do something about this horrible injustice, we were simply reflecting a piece of God’s love and justice to the world. Why wouldn’t God want that to be seen? It is demonstrating who He is. Secondly, we found undeniable and miraculous favor in the fly fishing industry. We found ourselves in incredible opportunities to share our message. We were in circumstances that none of us were clever enough or creative enough ever to manufacture ourselves. It was clearly God.
I marvel at what kind of impact He has made through a handful of fly fishermen and women who found a way to join God by simply being who we are and inviting those we love to join us. Through this project, negative stereotypes about God have been amended. Instead of seeing God as overly political, judgmental, and even hypocritical, they see Him as approachable and compassionate. We’re not pushing an agenda on others to make them conform to our ethical ideals before they can be involved with us. We’re not condemning them for their world views or value systems because they don’t line up with ours. We’re simply inviting them to join us in something that God (and we) cares deeply about. From there, great gospel conversations transpire.
Furthermore, false views of what is and isn’t spiritual have been corrected. Instead of confining the “spiritual stuff” to the little sacred space on Sunday morning (which is sacred, don’t misunderstand me), they have found spiritual value in all of life . . . even our hobbies!
The simple concept of reflecting who God is can be applied to all facets of life. How can we do this in the workplace? How can we do it in marriage and family? How can we even do this in our hobbies? Be free to dream. God wants to be seen through you in all areas of life. Be free to pray big audacious prayers, too. God is a big and capable God.