Sunday, May 18, 2014

Of Builders and Breadmakers

There are two kinds of people in this world: the Builders and the Breadmakers.

You could also call them Those Who Go and Those Who Stay.

There are many facets of each category. Some of Those Who Go go places short-term. Some of Those Who Stay move around a lot--maybe even between countries. Some may not even seem to fit into these categories. But for the most part, you can separate people into Builders and Breadmakers. Some of us go (to the mission field), some of us stay (at home).

My dorm room this past school year saw the extremes of these categories converge. There were Builders, and there was a Breadmaker. You could spot our differences almost immediately. One of the builders was a missions major. Captain Obvious, thy name is Heather. She was my builder. My breadmaker was literally a breadmaker. The culinary major that was little Nathalie. Great job, you two. You just became blog post illustrations for your literal fulfillment of your "roles." ;)

And then there was me. Builder-unawares. This was the year I surrendered to be a builder instead of a breadmaker. But that's a story for another day. Back to this story.

Two Builders.

One Breadmaker.

One room.

Builders are easy to spot. We're movers, shakers, make-things-happen-ers. We have fifty extensions, go from ministry class to ministry class and spend our free time talking about how we're going to go to the deep jungles of Africa and convert the cannibals. Okay, maybe not quite that extreme. We really only have forty-five extensions.

Breadmakers are not as easy to spot. They can be found in their dorm rooms, maybe with a friend or two. They might have an extension (or two if they feel especially ambitious) and spend their time in business classes and sometimes (as in the case of my roommate) actual breadmaking classes. They are easily missed, often overlooked.

But maybe that's where our mistake is. We often look at and applaud the Builders in our lives. Look at them! We say. Look at all the amazing things they're going to do for Christ! 

And the Breadmakers get pushed to the back. They get forgotten and are left behind, barely mentioned and easily unnoticed.

But to forget the Breadmakers of the world is to do a huge disservice. Not only to them, but also to the people whose lives they touch.

I propose that our most influential world changers are not the Builders, but rather the Breadmakers. Yes, the Builders go to foreign countries and start churches and translate Bibles and learn new languages so they can tell people about Christ. But (from a human standpoint) without the Breadmakers, the Builders are stuck here.

God made Builders. He made the energetic people who can move crowds and groups of people. He made those with unusual talents who can connect with those cannibals in Africa like no one else can. The people who go. He created us to be the visible movers and shakers and world changers.

But God also made Breadmakers. He made people who lives quiet lives sitting in a business office, running around a kitchen, chasing children, writing stories, and so much more. The people who stay. The people He created to be the quiet and beautiful influence the world needs.

Remember my roommates? Heather and I are Builders. We go. We love adventure. Our hearts are filled by little African babies and dead languages (to name a few). Our dreams are grand. They talk of going places and doing things and telling millions of people about our God.

Nathalie is a Breadmaker. And I propose that her influence may someday prove to be more powerful than Heather's and mine. Nathalie wants a quiet life. But her devotion to her Savior and her determination to do what she has set out to do has moved this Builder in ways no other Builder could. Nathalie makes bread. She'll have a bakery, a family, a church, and a ministry. She'll raise children, bake more bread, and share her Savior in quiet ways. Her door opener will be fresh bread and her glue will be love. She is beautifully quiet and her bread will be used to save souls.

Builders are raised, discovered, taught, and influenced by Breadmakers. By the quiet people who become moms, dads, bakers, teachers, doctors, accountants, and so much more. Breadmakers are the church members, the prayers, the encouragers, those who go door-to-door in their neighborhood or teach a Sunday School class. No one will ever write a biography of their lives, they will never be discussed in church history classes as the great movers and shakers of our day.

But those biographers and those church history teachers will be missing out. Some of the most beautiful, Christ-like people I have met are Breadmakers. The people who don't really "go anywhere." They are the Ones Who Stay. But by staying, they do more than Builders ever could. They support them, pray for them, encourage them, teach them, and find them.

The greatest Builders in our history books would not have become who they were if it had not been for the Breadmakers found in their parents, teachers, bosses, and churches. Builders need Breadmakers. We need them to remind us that God works at home just as much as He does "out there." That God is everywhere at all times and the Great Commission truly does mean "all nations." Not just the ones that aren't your own.

So my dear fellow Builders, you movers and shakers, you world-changers. Don't forget the Breadmakers. Don't forget the people who raised you, taught you, prayed for you, and influenced you. Because those are the real movers, shakers, and world-changers. And their bread has fed millions.

God made Breadmakers. And He's using them to change the world.

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