I finally had it all figured out. For once I felt like I was headed somewhere. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and I was so close to that I could taste it. That breakthrough moment; you know… the one where I find it.
Discovering what God put me on this earth for; discovering my thing. Everyone is supposed to have one, right? Because everyone knows that once you find your thing, you can finally start your life. I see all kinds of people with their thing. My parents have it, teachers, athletes, businessmen, they’ve all found it and I had been searching for years trying to find mine, and I thought I was at the point where I had it, I had found my thing.
But I was wrong. Thank God I was wrong.
You see, for the longest time growing up I didn’t know what I had to offer God. I was a pretty “normal” guy (at least I like to think so); not getting into much trouble, playing basketball, doing well enough in school to get by, but all those years I never had that sense of “yes, this is what life is all about”. Let’s be honest here, what does a normal guy like me have to offer a God who literally created the earth and everything in it? I didn’t think God needed a graphic designer in heaven.
So naturally, I became a missionary; you can’t miss the mark telling people about Jesus.
At least I thought so.
I dedicated three and a half years of my life to being a missionary. Teaching, preaching, mentoring, you know, the real spiritual stuff, the stuff they talk about in the Bible; the kind of stuff that makes you feel like you’re changing the world and gives you all kinds of significance, because you’re doing something for God.
That’s where I thought I had found it; I had finally found my thing:
Leading people to Jesus.
Some of you are wondering why this is a bad thing, after all, we aremeant to live our lives for God and we should live a life that points people toward him. That’s not bad at all, the problem lies in where I found my significance.
I only believed that I was significant because I was a missionary. I was living a life where the byproduct of my work was people coming to know God. How could that not be valuable? How could that not be significant?
My significance became dependent on my performance, and honestly it all seemed fine until I transitioned out of full-time missions and moved back to North America. Suddenly I didn’t have that stage for my performance anymore. I had lost it, I no longer had my thing. Now what? Who was I now?.
For almost a month I asked myself those questions every day. They haunted me for weeks.
I realized that I had been living for God in order to get a feeling of satisfaction, to feel like I was finally contributing something to the world, to feel significant.
My significance wasn’t a byproduct of the relationship I had with God, it was all in my works, in the doing. When I found myself out of my “spiritual” lifestyle, no longer going out into “all the world” it felt like my life was falling apart and I had lost my sense of purpose in life.
I truly loved God, it broke my heart when I thought I had lost my purpose, almost like I was letting him down in a way, but luckily for me, even through all that, there’s grace, there’s freedom to get things wrong and to keep moving forward.
Before we were born we were significant in God’s eyes; not because of what we could offer him, but simply because he created us.
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Significance is part of our DNA, it’s who we are.
We were never meant to try and prove ourselves to God, he knows everything we’re capable of, in fact, I would say that he believes more in you than you do. We are meant to live out of a place of relationship at the feet of Jesus, knowing that we are truly loved and valued by him. Our works shouldn’t feel like work, they should be worship, us giving back to the Father through the decisions and choices that we make. I’m not saying we’ll get this right all the time, but there’s plenty of grace for that. We just need to love him and the rest will follow.
Caleb Trimm (MAD Staff)
Originally on Caleb's blog here.