Back in my less contented days as a Junior College student, my uncle used to tell me to “bloom where you’re planted.” Sort of a cheesy phrase, but true none the less. As a not quite (or barely) 20-something, I was in a rut and wanted a change. But rather than making the most of where I was, even while not wanting to be there, I moped and complained. To usurp another gardening metaphor, that grass on the other side sure looked emeraldesque. Fortunately, through no real workings of my own, but through divine pruning and care, I did eventually bloom. Or I at least sprouted (I think of myself more like a vegetable than a flower).
I can’t help but think that if I’d read Jeremy Writebol’s debut book everPresent: How the Gospel Relocates Us in the Present, that sprouting process may have been sped up a bit. It’s not everyday a good friend of your’s publishes a book; probably rarer still that it is actually worth reading. But Jeremy’s book is a good and easy read on how the Gospel of Christ relocates the Christian where he or she needs to be, without having to move them at all.
It’s a fleshing out of that “bloom where you’re planted” philosophy. It spells out what makes that possible; through focusing on the Gospel, not only how it relates to our spiritual location, but our physical one as well. The Gospel is more than just about our spiritual salvation. Clearly, that is a fundamental element of it, but there is more.
God is omnipresent, and Christians, as His ambassadors, are nearly so. Wherever Christians are, they are to be the light to this world. That includes in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools. That is being ever present. By doing so, we can “relocate” ourselves and those around us, as human beings, into the place where we were supposed to be all along; with God. We were dislocated from that position after the Fall, but the Gospel puts us back where we belong; in the presence of the Father.
For the discontented 20-something to the satisfied 60-something, and beyond, being “ever present” wherever we are is not only a reassurance, but a duty. Christians are called to go into all the world and make disciples. This includes going to work, school, and next door. It sounds intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be. As Jeremy says in the book, “The method is: be present, as a Christian, with lost people.” We do that everyday.
I’d encourage anyone to read Jeremy’s book (and not just because I happen to be in it, briefly). It’s a great wake up call, and a fresh look at what should be a well known truth.
Here is where you can get it: