Deliverables - by Greg Steggerda

It’s kind of ironic that in the end, the very last question the disciples had for Jesus was the same expectation the Jewish religious leaders had. Here it is, in Acts 1:6-9: 

“Then they gathered around him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’
“He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
“After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.”

The disciples wanted to know: when do we win? They didn’t like not knowing. We want the same certainty. They, and we as a centuries-later extension of their work, don’t like the idea that we’re working toward something we can’t see. If we don’t know what the end state looks like or when it will arrive, how do we know how well we’re doing? How do we know how much work is done and how much is left? What are the measurables?

Should we read anything into the fact that there aren’t any of what business calls deliverables to the mission Jesus gave us? I think so. I think Jesus wants us to simply live faithful lives doing the best we can every day. If we had measurable milestones, we’d apply the same competitive spirit (and maybe willingness to cheat) that we do to our sports and our businesses. Human nature is to run over people to get ahead, or at least get the job done. Jesus’ work isn’t like that at all.

That’s a challenge for me, because I’ve been a goal setter and milestone measurer all my life. Leaving all that to Jesus and just doing what’s in front of me will take some faith. But Jesus and his mission is all about faith.