Anna Bradfield Writes

Discovering the extraordinary in everyday life

Celebrate Your Place in Life

So, you’re leisurely enjoying life, taking it one day at a time. You’re minding your own business. Not really bothering anybody. Just serenely living, moment to moment. You’re caught up in the beauty of it all, putting one foot in front of the other on this relaxed path meandering before you.

You think, Isn’t this great?

You can’t really put your finger on it, but everything is just so cool and easy.

You think, I wish all my friends could be with me right now.

And then it comes to you. Hey, I know! I’ll take a selfie and share it with everybody!

Then BAM: watch this clip.

You’re kicked back to the reality of your place in the world.

You don’t own it — the world, that is. Never did. No one’s going to ask you how it should turn. You’re just a small speck on it, and you must be mindful of the larger moving parts if you’re going to survive.

Remember the days when we thought the world revolved around us? We were just little crumb snatchers, and we were so gosh-darn cute! Everybody said so. Every little thing we did – every phrase we turned, every mannerism, every new feat achieved – got a reaction. (Usually, it was positive.)

We got a little older. The cuteness began to wear off. Our siblings tired of catering to us and began to put us in our place. Chores and responsibilities were heaped upon us, despite our belligerent resistance. Our endearing phrases turned annoying, almost overnight. Our schoolmates, who had always thought the world revolved around them, began to collide with us. People didn’t have patience for us like they used to. What happened?

According to the folks at Simple to Remember, there’s a Hebrew phrase – an admonition of sorts – to assist those striving toward the answer: hamakir et mikomo. It means, know your place.

Know your place in the world and in relation to others. Be aware of your surroundings, of your strengths, of your weaknesses. Hard lessons.

Consider these five questions to help you toward that end:

What’s your Role? Each of us possesses a unique combination of personality, talents, timing, and circumstances – a specific role. It’s dependent upon a combination of our innate talents and on the needs of the times.

In scripture, we read what happened when Moses witnessed an Egyptian taskmaster beating a Jew:

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. (Exodus 2:11-12, NIV)

Why did Moses look around before he took action? Because he was checking to see if someone better qualified was available. Do you ever reach for the role when someone else is better qualified? Do you ever stand back, even when you’re the one God has tapped, refusing to step into the role He has before you?

What’s your Source? We must learn to evaluate the opinions of others. We can’t assume that the one who is older or more experienced is the one with the answers. Neither should we discount the advice of others because we think we can figure it out on our own.

Moses wisely took counsel from his father-in-law Jethro, in attempts to lighten the load of leadership (Exodus 18:13-26). It paid off. Moses was able to accomplish  more because he learned how to delegate. How thoroughly have you considered the advice freely flowing your way?

What do you Know? In this age of tolerance and inclusion, we are more susceptible than ever to lack confidence in our positions. Give yourself credit. You can attain absolute clarity.

Think about this: how many fingers do you have? Unless you had an unfortunate shop accident earlier in life or were born otherwise, you have five on each hand. Nobody can talk you into believing you have 82. You can count those fingers. You can know.

God is the source of my beliefs. He has placed people in my life who hold me accountable – sometimes without saying a word but just being with me. I think it was the same for Moses.

When Moses funneled his decisions through his own understanding, he met failure. When He compared the decision before him with the will of YHWH, he met success. 

Where are you in your Relationships? Being sensitive to others is one of the most important steps in knowing your place. Notice people. Where are they strong? Where are they weak? Where do you stand?

As much confidence as YHWH had in Moses’ abilities to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 3:7-4:17), Moses felt ill-equipped. He kept arguing with God. “Who would possibly want to listen to me?” “Whom should I say sent me?” “What if no one believes me?” “You know, God, I’ve never really been able to talk so good.”

YHWH’s anger burned against Moses. It was as if God said, “Fine! Who do you think you’re talking to? Can I not accomplish all of these things through you? But fine. You feel so ill-equipped? I’ll send your brother Aaron with you, and he can do the talking.” Though God would be with him every step of the way, Moses felt like he needed flesh and bones beside him. Do you ever feel that way?

Where is your relationship with God? A basic element of knowing your place is to put your relationship with God into perspective. The first thing a child of Israel might do in the morning is to recite the Modeh Ani prayer:

“Thank you, God, for graciously returning my soul for yet another day.”

The higher we become spiritually, the more humble we become. As we draw closer to God, we become more realistic about our limitations, vulnerability, and mortality. We realize that every human’s position is tenable, that only God is eternal.

In being humble before God, we connect with the unity of the world. We are more relaxed, calm, and flexible. The blessing is that this humility floods over to every interpersonal relationship we encounter.

Moses became leader of the Jewish nation because he saw himself as a servant. He encompassed the needs and yearnings of the entire nation. He knew his place.

Your Inspiration Prompt: Until next time, tell us which Biblical character you identify with the most.

Share your thoughts in the Comments section.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kriani/118678132/”>AnimeshBulusu</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

About Anna Bradfield

Anna Bradfield has been spinning tales, exaggerating the truth, and flat-out lying almost as long as she could talk. Nowadays, though, she calls it fiction. Buy her ebooks, Hey Grampa! or Barnyard Babies today. Join the online community and receive a free copy of her ebook, Boy Crazy.

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