“It doesn’t matter how talented, how anointed, how gifted, how passionate, or how willing you are if you’re not fit to do the things that God has called you to do.” –Candace Payne
Candace Payne, now widely known as “Chewbacca Mom,” became an internet sensation thanks to a spontaneous video in which she joyfully donned a toy mask of the beloved Wookiee.
Having now broken multiple records for online views, Candace is now appearing on talk shows and at media venues across the nation, spreading her contagious joy to everyone she encounters (including Chewbacca himself).
For some, this newfound voice would be the beginning of what we commonly call influence or platform or brand. But for Candace, a 37-year-old stay-at-home mom and worship leader, her calling and influence began long ago, starting as a teenager, and proceeding with faithfulness to God in her daily life.
“When I was 16, I had a vision and dream from the Lord about my future about being used for His glory,” she said in an interview at a Regional Fine Arts Festival. “…That dream has never left my heart, nor my mind, nor the way that I walk and follow Jesus.”
Her story begins around the 7-minute mark:
In our efforts to “change the world” or “transform culture,” we often assume a romanticized picture of the type of platform Candace now enjoys. But as she openly recognizes, it begins with our heart and hands, as well as the spheres and relationships that God has already given us.
It begins with a heart of obedience first and sacrifice second. It begins with discipleship at the most intimate and local levels, particularly with our families (what Herman Bavinck calls the school of life and love). From here, our gifts spread across society through daily work and ministry, but through it all, our perspective has to stay focused.
It’s not about us. It’s not about “platform.” It’s not about grandiose spectacles or “movements,” although God may choose to use them from time to time. Fundamentally, it’s about diligence and obedience to God in the most mundane corners of the family, the church, the economy, and beyond.
As Candace explains:
It doesn’t matter how talented, how anointed, how gifted, how passionate, or how willing you are if you’re not fit to do the things that God has called you to do. And that is spiritually fit. The thing that will take you further and farther in the kingdom of God is three things:
1. Diligence: Be diligent in the work of the Lord.
2. Patience: Have those moments where you stop and you wait upon the Lord. Don’t rush into ministry or a good opportunity because it looks shiny. Wait for the voice of God to direct you.
3. Obedience: …It’s the biggest thing, if I could get to my sixteen-year-old self. Have obedience. When he tells you, “move,” move. When he tells you, “stop,” stop. When he tells you, “indulge in the delights of my table,” indulge. But when he tells you, “that’s not yours; you can’t have it,” step away. Do not try to make a name for yourself. His name will always out-shadow yours.
Diligence, patience, and obedience are the starting points of Christian vocation. If we’re faithful in those, each and every day, God will take care of the rest.