I recently saw an on-line story (noted below) about Carrie Prejean – the former beauty pageant contestant who some think lost the Miss America contest because of her answer to a question regarding same-sex marriage. Ms. Prejean is quoted as saying, “God chose me for that moment because he knew that not only would I be the one to stand up for Him and for the truth, but because He knew I was strong enough to get through all the junk that I’ve been through.”
God “chose” her because she would be “strong enough” Uh, not so fast, please. First, Ms. Prejean’s answer that evening was a credit to her character and a testament to the values she holds dear. Given that she was one of the contest’s finalists and the Miss America title potentially moments away, Ms. Prejean chose to proclaim God’s truth. That said, I’m hard-pressed to believe that Ms Prejean’s situation is any different from anyone else being challenged on a point of morality. The circumstances of a beauty contest certainly provided more notoriety because of the setting and who was asking the question. However, all believers will have tribulations at various times in their lives. It’s a promise that Jesus gave in John 16:33.
Has God placed particular people in particular positions at particular times for His end-results? The Apostle Paul, of course, had his Damascus Road experience. And Jesus chose those whom He wanted as His disciples. That said, from my reading and understanding of the New Testament, it is only rarely that God chose certain people for certain tasks. Furthermore, in my opinion, those instances only occurred during the early formation of the Church.
Did God call Carrie Prejean to be a beauty pageant contestant? I don’t think so. If anything, all believers are called to holy living and to being a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1-21). The NIV Topical Bible states: “[A]fter citing general principles for the Christian life, Paul gives practical guidelines on several specific issues; using properly God’s gifts to us, living a life of love, respecting human governments and using our Christian freedom compassionately and lovingly in disputable matters. These issues remain vital in our lives today.” The challenges that confront God’s standards and His desire for our lives are all around us. We have a choice to make each time we’re confronted with something at odds to God’s stated will for our lives.
This is God’s will for everyone: to be willing to exchange that which is temporal for that which is eternal.