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In 1895, Booker T. Washington gave has famous compromise speech to African Americans, urging them to “Cast down your bucket where you are.” He used the illustration of a ship lost at sea pleading desperately for drinking water from a passing ship. Four times the ship replied, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” The lost ship did not know they were sitting in the midst of fresh water, needing only to dip it out. We read in Mark chapter 1 that as Jesus began His earthly ministry, He called 12 men to leave their daily jobs, to follow Him and learn how to catch people for His kingdom. God still calls some people to do that today. But for the vast majority of His followers, Jesus challenges them to simply serve Him where they are, to use their talents and abilities in the very places where God has permitted them to live. Hewants us to represent Him in our families, in our school, on our jobs, and in our community. When we serve Him where we are, it often surprises us to see how God multiplies our effectiveness in the very places where we live. Yes, God still calls some to serve in foreign countries and exotic lands, but for most of us, He simply invites us to “cast down our serving vessels where we are.”

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