It’s a New Year and I have a very important announcement I need to make, ready? Ok here it is: KANSAS CITY IS NOT MIAMI!
I know someone is reading this and just said “duh!” in your head, but let me explain why I felt the need to share this exceptionally obvious announcement. As I lifelong resident of Kansas City, I hate to admit this, but there were times I wished I lived somewhere else…yeah, yeah, yeah, judge me if you must, but at least hear me out.
There were times as a teenager & embarrassingly there have even been seasons in my adulthood that I would literally close my eyes in frustration and wish I was in another city. As wonderful as Kansas City is, it’s still well, it’s very “midwesterny.” For those who don’t know, living in a midwestern city comes all sorts of stigmas. You hear so many stigmas, things like it being too slow, sleepy, laid back, uneventful, and bland. I’m sure you know or have heard of someone who decided to pack up and leave KC because “nothing is here for them.” There was a time in my life I felt the same way! However as I’ve matured and have been deeply entrenched in ministry over the past 10 years I have NEVER made that wish again and here’s 3 reasons why:
Reason #1: GOD’S CALLING IS JUST AS MUCH GEOGRAPHICAL AS IT IS SPIRITUAL.
Jesus modeled this reality for us as He carried His cross toward Golgotha. Look at what bible says:
“and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.” -John 19:17 ESV
The work of the cross was emphatically spiritual but at the same time the bible specifies that Jesus carried His OWN cross “to the place…” I like how the writer specified that Jesus carried His “own” cross. I feel as if sometimes we dislike where we are geographically or where we are in life because we lose the focus of our OWN cross we are commissioned to carry.
God has given us a unique assignment that only we can carry out. Why be envious of someone else’s cross when there’s already one on your back?! The text also says that Jesus carried His cross “to the place.” We can never forget that THE PLACE is part of THE PROCESS. Maturity taught me that within a calling from God is a “place” that God expects that calling to be realized and flourished. I really need you to understand, where God has you is right where He wants you.
REASON #2: GOD’S DESIGN FOR US IS TO GROW WHERE WE ARE PLANTED.
Listen up, I have a PSA…here goes: Growing doesn’t mean agreeing.
Ouch that one hurts, huh? One of the most beautiful things about God is the fact that His plan and His compassion reaches beyond our stubbornness and disagreement. Growth happens in the places He plants us whether we initially realize it or not. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t born with a love and burden for my city…this love and burden was developed over time. As God grew me where He had me I began to see my city from His perspective. I stopped focusing on the physical climate, and began to sense the spiritual climate. I stopped seeing my city as having no entertainment, to seeing it as needing God way more than any tourist attractions. I stopped using the excuse of there being too much violence, and I started to realize the fact that God graced ME with a gift as an answer to the condition of my city. I want you to really understand this truth about life…often times the very thing we are most agitated about is the thing we are graced to address! I like what Paul says:
“So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.” – 1 Corinthians 7:24 ESV
This is so dope to me, man! Here is Paul encouraging these converts to bloom in the dirt Jesus found them in. Wow! That is one of the main things that encouraged me to change my perspective! God has called you to bloom in YOUR dirt! Its yours! God found you there…WORK IT! Grow right there. ITS YOUR DIRT! All of this leads me to my last reason…(drumroll)
Reason #3: EVERY CITY HAS AN ASSIGNMENT AND EVERY ASSIGNMENT IS CARRIED OUT THROUGH OBEDIENCE.
This is simple yet profound. You were born where you were born for a reason. You moved to where you moved to for a reason. You were relocated to where you were relocated for a reason. And if the city you’re in is ever going to be what Heaven knows it is to be, listen real closely…its going to take your OBEDIENCE over your objections. Always remember: your assignment is more important than your emotions.
So needless to say I LOVE THE CITY OF KANSAS CITY, MO! I LOVE THE PEOPLE…I LOVE THE CLIMATE (sometimes lol) …I LOVE THE ATTRACTIONS, but most of all I LOVE THE ASSIGNMENT GOD HAS GIVEN ME FOR THIS CITY! Other places are cool too, I’m just not called to them. Love your dirt, it’s yours!