I’m concerned. It seems like God’s children are losing their purpose. They are getting so tied up with doing they are neglecting the gift of being. I have heard more often than I can let slide the words, “I feel like I’m wasting my time. I’m not sure I’m fulfilling my calling.” Okay, side-note: I have also had that thought. And, it bothered me. The truth is as we look around us, there is more and more to do. I think we get overwhelmed. Those of us that feel we need to take on every task or mission that is set before us are worn out, and those that are just dwelling in grace with an air of apathy are missing out. There is a balance. That balance is His Spirit.
I don’t think we put enough confidence in this gift, the gift of the Spirit. We are trying to do things on our own, when He does indeed have a plan and a purpose for us, and it isn’t some huge mystery that He has hidden and requires a treasure map and a key to unlock. More than that, it doesn’t necessarily mean fame and money and popularity. It’s absurd to think that, and yet we do, if we are honest, think that our obedience will bring about blessing in all it’s worldly forms.
Sometimes the simplest acts of obedience bring eternal blessing. I keep hearing “I need to show more love,” “I need to give more,” “I need to spend more time with my family,” and the same sweet souls that are saying this spend time dreaming up expressions of grandeur when it’s so much easier than that! Let’s break that down.
“I need to show more love.” Then make love the over-riding thought in everything you do. If you need a refresher on what “love is,” check out chapter 13 of 2 Corinthians. Love always requires compassion. Seeing others as more important than you. More love will require more of you, put simply. It will require sacrificing what you want for what they want. It will require more work not less. It will require giving when you are more comfortable with receiving. It will require becoming less as His Spirit in you takes over. If you want to show more love, make this your prayer: Father, today show me how to love like you love us.
“I need to give more.” Ok. So, do. The excuse is often that we don’t have the means or the time, well, that’s part of the gift. Instead of taking those clothes to the consignment store, find a family that lost everything in a house fire, or a church that takes up collections, or simply donate it to Goodwill. If you have been holding that pamphlet from World Vision or Compassion International in your hands and thought, “Maybe I should..” Do it. You will be surprised how quickly you get accustomed to that small amount deducted monthly. There are any number of gifts we can give…be creative, and make this your prayer: Father, today show me who I can help, and give me the willpower to assist them.
“I need to spend more time with my family.” This doesn’t require you to plan a 7 day cruise. This can be as simple as instituting a “family night.” Cook their favorite foods, or order them in for those that don’t like to cook. Pick out a game, a movie, or put up a tent! If that isn’t your thing, go out as a family to eat…no friends just family, and visit, talk, share. You will be surprised how much more inclined they are to talk when you are investing in them. Incorporate mother/father/daughter/son dates. These are great! My youngest loves this! She already gives me the stink eye because I married her daddy before she could… who better to show her how to act on a date and how she should be treated than her daddy? Sometimes these one on one moments of investment open up more communication and affection than you will ever discover talking over your laptop or texting to their iPods. There are a million different ways to show your love for them, to give them more attention and to spend time with them all at the same time! Make this your prayer: Father, help me to make time for my family. Prioritize my life to invest in them, and give me grace to deal with the drama. ☺ (Maybe that last part doesn’t apply to you as it does me.)
Maybe you are wondering, “But, what of our purpose, our calling?” This is our calling. God sets aside two things as the purpose of mankind in various forms and places in the Bible, but it boils down to basically two things: Love God and love others. In that order, and with intensity! Whatever gifts you are given – and there are any number of gifts that we each possess – He placed them in you to do these two things. And when you love others and share His attention and affection with them, this is an act of worship!
So don’t get bogged down in the world of “success” and wondering if you are missing something more. Instead rely on His Spirit inside you that beckons and impresses and inspires. Listen to that still small voice, and as you do you will realize that it is louder than you ever realized, and you will feel your life swaying with its energy, and as you give into the current and power you will find that you are doing better. You are loving better. You are giving better. You are spending valuable time with those that are your family. And, as a reward you will see that the world around you is doing better…your circle of influence is more peaceful, more enjoyable, and more fulfilling. One simple offering at a time, and your purpose will be made complete even if you never do anything spectacular! Who defines spectacular or grand, anyway? The God who came to earth in a feeding trough and died on a splintered cross, was buried in a borrowed grave and gave over the Good News to a ragtag bunch of fishermen and sinners. I think He knows better than us.