Have you ever had a moment where you felt like you had absolutely no clue what you’re supposed to be doing with your life? Was that moment five minutes ago? Are you having that moment right now? Congratulations! You’re a human!
We don’t like to admit it, but the average person does not have it all figured out. Not even a little bit. When we really break it down, we can all be a bit of a mess sometimes. I will gladly raise my hand and join that club. When I was in college, I was surrounded by people who were desperately trying to figure out what they were going to do with their lives while simultaneously fooling themselves that they had it all together. When we got out of college, we panicked all over again because we still didn’t have any idea what we were going to do with our lives.
We so badly want our lives to have meaning and I believe that desire goes directly back to our Creator. Deep down, we know we were made with purpose, so if we could just know what that purpose is maybe we could be getting somewhere. Do a search through the Bible for verses on purpose and you’ll find a love letter by God calling his treasures to be part of his story.
The closer I look at God’s call on our hearts, though, the more I realize it’s less about the technicalities of living (job, salary, house, you name it) and far more about who we are to the people in our lives as representatives of God’s love. How do we care for the people in our orbit? How do we show them how much God loves them? In those questions lies the beauty of how creative God was when he made us all so unique. Everyone will have a different approach to those questions. Everyone will have a different way to show love to those closest to them.
Since there’s not any single, blanket answer, this puts a certain amount of responsibility on us to examine our hearts and know who we are in Christ. Not an easy examination to make. So here’s my question to you to narrow the search:
What’s Your Mission Statement?
What’s that thing you do for other people that makes you feel a sense of victory? What’s your knee-jerk reaction when someone needs help? What is it that you’re guarding and replenishing when you need to rest?
For me, it’s the need to spread joy and hope. That’s my mission statement: I try to show God’s love to people by pointing them to joy and hope. When someone is having a bad day, my knee-jerk reaction is to give them a reason to smile and put some distance between them and what’s happening. I’m not the best at it, but that doesn’t matter. It’s God at work, not me, and He isn’t limited by my imperfections.
The beauty of all this is every person has been given a unique set of gifts to help others. At the same time that I’m trying to cheer someone up, another person might be helping fix the problem with them. Another might defend the person in need. Still, another might want to bandage and comfort the emotional wounds. There are so many different ways to show this communal, compassionate love.
Romans 12:6-8 celebrates the ability everyone has to serve God and others around us. “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”
We are not cut-and-paste Christians. Your individuality is part of your story and part of God’s greater plan. He wants you. Not a carbon copy of your neighbor who you think has it more together. He wants you.
So I’ll ask you again. What’s your mission statement? Not mine, not your neighbor’s, not your sister’s, or your pastor’s. But what’s your mission statement? Because the sooner we stop comparing ourselves to those working around us and start paying attention to the ways God has gifted us, the sooner we can start focusing on loving others with those gifts.
I’ll close with this. Life is hard, whether or not you follow Jesus. It’s incredibly hard. We may not have everything technical in our lives figured out, but we do have absolute manifest over the type of person we desire to be. When we focus more on what God says about us and calls us to be, we integrate ourselves into the Greatest Story Ever Told – and even better, as we were intended to be by our Creator.
If you know who you are in Christ and how you’re going to show people His love, you’ll find that you never have to go far to achieve your goals. You may not have the perfect job, house, car, hair, body, lifestyle, or whatever else you’re reaching for, but a life spent sharing the gifts God has given you with others who need them will never be wasted.
In that respect, you still may not “have it together” but you’re following the one who does. And that’s no small thing.
Let’s find some joy.