The Biggest Mistake of Our Times

People are sometimes born into the wrong times. Has this happened to you?

Maybe, you were meant to live during the frontier days – you know, when times were simpler. Men were men. Women were women. And hard work, community, and honest living were valued.

Or perhaps you were supposed to live the fifties on an endless loop when people respected tradition, knew their Bibles, and roles were clear.

Some of you, perhaps, were supposed to live at the dawn of American independence. Those were your times. When freedom really meant one was free, your home was your castle, and everyone bowed their heads for prayer.

Who can blame a person for growing weary of our times and imagining it means God made some cosmic error in assigning us to live here and now? We’ve all entertained at least a fleeting thought that we’re out of step with the age.

I, myself, am fascinated by the turn of the last century – the first half of the 1900s. It seems to me an exciting age and it produced writers whose voices influence me still – Tolkien, Lewis, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Jack London, Zane Grey, Langston Hughes. Powerful stories. Distinct styles. Themes that resonate with me in this modern day.

But I was not born to live in those times.

God sent me here – now. And if you’re reading this in 2018, He destined you to share these days with me.

In Acts 17:26-27, Paul is quoted as saying: “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,”

God doesn’t make mistakes. We aren’t in the wrong time period – some of us simply refuse to accept our assignments.

You see, the simple fact is that if we live now, He designed us for now.

Not only that, but His Word says God has equipped us with everything we need for life and godliness, even in the age of Cosby, Trump, #metoo, North Korea, sarin gas, gender confusion, and growing persecution of the church.

We have no excuse to waste the time we’ve been given imagining we belong to another age. We’ve received our assignment and our calling is to follow Jesus – as our unique selves – to be lights in these dark times.

This isn’t a post to make us all feel good. In fact, I think we shouldn’t feel good if we waste the gift of this age wishing ourselves in another. It doesn’t feel like a gift sometimes, I know, but that’s our perspective – not the truth.

The moment we stop daydreaming and moaning, the moment we say, “Yes, these are my times and I know my Father designed me for now,” is the moment we should prepare to see God work in us and through us.

You have a purpose in these times. I know that because Jesus placed you here. We need you to be you – surrendered to Jesus – now.

All those voices that still speak to me reflected their times – but some reflected those times in the context of a relationship with Jesus – and those voices speak life. Life that informed not only their times but time into eternity. We can be those voices for our times – and beyond.

One of my favorite Tolkien quotes is this:

“‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo.

‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’” -The Fellowship of the Ring

I have an assignment for now – you need me to be faithful to it. I need you to be faithful to yours – even if we haven’t met.

These days are hard to navigate – impossible at times. I know. I’m here, too.

The good news is He created you and me to navigate hard, impossible times – in the name of Jesus Christ.

So, don’t make the biggest mistake of our times by spending them imagining you belong in another.

Act now. Live now. Love as only those designed for these times can love.

You and I were designed to love now – under duress, under pressure, under fire. We are designed to speak life into these days – life and light. To neglect our call is to aid the darkness.

Light the darkness of our times with your life. Now.


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6 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Sherry Carter says:

    Lori, thank you for these words. They touched me deeply. There have been some hard days when I wished it hadn’t happened in my time. Every step of the way, God assured me of His presence, assured me that He was enabling me to walk where I didn’t want to go, to be where I didn’t want to be. After I retired and He called me to write, my struggle to obey Him has revealed the reasons for the path I walked. We are each unique and our paths are crafted by Him to bring us to a point that we serve Him as only we can.

  2. Debra Johnson says:

    Thank you for these words….I’ve been struggling and weary lately and God knew what I needed to hear.

  3. Rob McCullough says:

    Thank you Lori for speaking to the heart of this matter, and I like the Tolkien quote myself. We were placed here at this time for a specific purpose and we need to be connected to and engaged with Father, Son and Holy Spirit to be what we were placed here to be and to accomplish what we were placed here to accomplish.

  4. Michael Craft says:

    Lori, Thank you so much for this relevant message! With so many issues going on in our society that I thought I would never see such as: gender confusion, gender re-assignment surgery, politics-gone-astray, rascist-bating, extreme hatred toward other views, anti-Americanism, immigration, anti-Christian sentiment, conservative Christians vs liberal Christians, etc, etc. . You see so much of what Matthew 24:12 says, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” All these issues (and there’s a ton more) makes one feel out of place because it just gets worse as I get older. But God, in His infinite wisdom, kept putting me in so many uncomfortable places to minister—places wherein I did not fit in—prisons, on-the-street, drug & alcohol rehabilitation facilities and (the toughest one of all) the local church. I had no experience but I knew that God wanted me to do these things. He believed in me and loved me unconditionally through all my mishaps. I learned that this was what I was to do: love others no matter what they believed just like He loved me. I was not to look at all the craziness of our times, but to concentrate on loving people into His kingdom. This is the reason that your writings, Lori, resonates with me. You are a rare writer that grasps these times of uncertainty and speak truth into it. Thank you so very much!

  5. Linda Gagnon says:

    God calls us to come and see what he’s already doing.
    Calling us to become comfortable in the uncomfortable, a call to surrender our privilege by choosing to listen rather than talk, learn rather than teach, to just be rather than constantly trying to be the savior. Being content in who we are. Broken and beloved.
    If we can learn to listen to people stories, to fully embrace their pain as well as their celebration, we may see God‘s faithfulness come to life in their story. We all have the responsibility of joining in the pain in celebration of one another. We are a support system that we know we ourselves can fall  into one day and remind one another that life with God is full of blessings and suffering, faith and doubt. It is less terrifying to hold these truths together when we remind one another that God is the darkness as much as he is in the dawn. Together we embody to one another the grace and abundant forgiveness of God. Together, we build each other up. Community is not an option for a Jesus follower. Living life with fellow believers is the only way we can become who God is making us to be.
    Thank you Lori for your wholehearted message.

  6. Joanne Urbany says:

    Well said, Lori. A great reminder to focus on the present and keep our eyes on Christ as we follow Him in obedience.Thank you got this timely word.