What Matters The Most?
One of the most frequent questions I get in my role as a pastor is a question that is centered on discovering one's unique purpose, and it goes something like this:
"How do I know what God wants me to do with my life?"
It's an excellent question, and there's no easy, pat answer. To be fair, I have lots of things that I say when I'm asked that question, and most of them are prescriptive in nature.
In other words, I typically give people guidance on disciplines, practices and habits that will enable them to be better positioned so that they can see their unique path more clearly.
In the end, I have to admit that anything I might have to say is highly subjective, and may or may not work for the person who is inquiring.
You see, we are all unique, and are all gifted with particular talents, desires, longings and we are also gifted with a purpose to which we are specifically suited.
But far too many of us spend an inordinate amount of time fretting and worrying over the possibilities of that purpose, and whether we are doing the right things, taking the right steps, being the right kind of person to discover the right path.
I'm not saying we shouldn't develop good habits, engage in right practices or do everything we can to be open and ready for God's call.
But when we become too preoccupied with the future, we can miss out on what God is doing in our present all around us, in us and through us.
And we can also miss out on opportunities to make connections and be fully present with the people God has placed in our path.
Author and speaker Bob Goff recently wrote:
We all want to to use all our gifts. That's a good thing. There's nothing wrong with taking the time to figure out the path that complements your ambitions and capabilities.
We get into trouble when we become more concerned with all the potential paths we could take than we are about the people right in front of us.In our church we like to say that everything comes down to "Loving God, and Loving Everybody." It's simple and difficult all at once, but it's what we're called to do as followers of Christ.
When our focus, our goal and our deepest desire is to truly learn what it means to love God, and then to love others, we soon discover new ways to see where God is leading us, our ears are more ready to hear God's call, and our hearts are shaped and softened, ready for transformation.
May this be so for you today and every day forward. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and forever.