Thursday, November 01, 2007

Successful or Significant: Part 2

Czech writer and dramatist Vaclav Havel once said: “The real test of a man is not when he plays the role that he wants for himself, but when he plays the role destiny has for him.” As I think about the picture of the sunset to the right, I think about how each day that we are given to live, is a blessing from God. Each day that we have is a gift to do something significant with our lives. Too often we become selfish and think we know what is best for us, but more often than not our selfishness does not lead us to the role, the destiny that God has for us.
You might know what you believe, but do you know how to incorporate what you believe into your life? What will you do with what you believe? God has a destiny for you, but this destiny requires that you utilize your faith in all aspects of your life. This is how Jesus could talk about coming to this earth so that His followers might have abundant life.
So we need to ask ourselves some important questions: Am I listening to God's still small voice? Is my work the center of my life and identity? Do I have an eternal perspective as a prism through which I view my life? What do I want to be remembered for? Is my life packed with significance? As we answer these questions, it should lead us to want to do more with the faith that we have.
So, if you think of life as a baseball diamond, First Base is the commitment to faith and believing what Jesus says is true; Second Base is the shift from being a ‘hearer of the word’ to being a ‘doer of the word’: it is growing in spiritual maturity that shows itself in a loving behavior; Third Base is the commitment to living out the Christian faith in Ministry. This is about doing concrete work, either in a church or a parachurch setting; Home base is the commitment to God’s mission in the world. It is being a Kingdom builder by finding the specifically designed mission that God has for us. George Gallup Jr. talks about how 84% of Americans declare themselves to be Christians. The problem is that most are stuck between first and second base not living out their Christian faith.
In 1 Kings 19:9-12, we read about how God was going to come to Elijah. Elijah expected God to come in a dramatic way, but God was not in the powerful wind, the earthquake that shook the mountains, or the great fire. When God came to Elijah, it was in a gentle whisper. We need to know that God comes to us and speaks His message to us of how we are to be significant, but we must slow down so that we can hear God's whisper. God's whisper will lead us to do things that are significant. But we must have the desire to listen, and then to act.
George Bernard Shaw once said: “This is the true joy in life—the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die…”
In my next blog I will talk more about how we can use ourselves in significant ways.