A common unspoken (or sometimes spoken) attitude is, I don’t have to do (fill in the blank) because someone else will. Someone else will come along and clean the table in the fast-food restaurant. Someone else will write that letter to the editor about a current issue. Someone else will clean the trash off the street, so I can feel free to throw my paper cup out the window.
Yes, I know, I do it too (well, I don’t throw my trash out the car window!). But I’ve noticed I’m often the “someone else.” When my kids were teenagers, I opted to stop traveling and stay home so I could be with them during those years. While my husband traveled, chores I might have put on the honey-do list often couldn’t wait for him to come home, so I had to do them.
Many times in the past I’ve been the someone else. When an opportunity arose, such as speaking or working with women’s ministry, I would look over my shoulder to see who else might be available and realize I was the only one standing there. I didn’t always want to, but I jumped in, sometimes not knowing what I was getting myself into.
Several biblical characters tried to hand off their calling to someone else, but it didn’t work. Moses came up with some good excuses for not going back to Egypt. Gideon wondered if God was really talking to him. Mighty warrior? Not me! Jonah tried to run away, but the fish was faster. Each of them became the someone else he hoped would do the job.
When Jesus came to earth as a baby, he wasn’t just someone else; he was the only one who could do what needed to be done. This sinful world needed “God with us.”
No one else could heal the sick and calm the storms. No one else could move the crowds with his words and feed them with a basket of fish. No one else could fulfill each and every one of the prophecies of the Old Testament.
Jesus knew why he came to earth, but he prayed in the garden for his Father to take the cup from him. He did add, “if you are willing” and prayed not his will but his Father’s will be done. Jesus knew no one else could take his place on the cross. There was no someone else whose blood could cleanse the sins of humanity.
Being a Christian, just as being an adult, often requires us to be the responsible one, to be the one who stands up and says, “I’ll do it!” Jesus calls on us to be someone who will answer his call and fulfill the royal law of love to him and our brothers and sisters.
Let’s stop looking around for someone else and do what needs to be done. May we all be like Isaiah, who answered God’s call with these words: “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8,).