Every year I see countless ads scroll across my news feed challenging people to take control of their life, plan accordingly, say no, set new goals, achieve your dreams in 2016. Now I have no intention of bashing these courses. They are very good. In fact I’ve taken many of them myself. But often times people come to these with a preconceived idea and hope. And when that hope goes unmet they simply give up.
I use to be this way. Every year I would sit down and list out my goals. But then they would go unmet. Now there are a number of reasons for this. But mostly I was setting big goals and was focused more on what I wanted in my life instead of what God was directing me to do. As a result, I racked up large amounts of debt and was left with disappointment when everything I hoped for was never achieved.
I went to a school I shouldn’t have gone to because everyone said “That’s where you need to go…”
I entered a career in ministry because I thought that’s what I should be doing only to discover it wasn’t where God wanted me…
I could go on and on but what’s the point.
Sometimes God directs us to go places that don’t make sense in the beginning and goes against our finite minds but in the end- They lead us to a promise.
I love the passage in James 4:13-17
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, if the Lord wills, we will live & do this or that. As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
I will admit that at first glance, at least from the worlds perspective, this verse comes across a little depressing. To think “I am nothing more than a mist that quickly disappears.”
I mean it goes against everything we ever thought about ourselves, our lives, our plans. It runs against the grain of contemporary culture and tells us our lives are worthless.
But is that honestly what God is saying here…?
For years I ran from what God was leading me to do with my life. I was afraid, overwhelmed, and lacked the confidence to be able to sit and use creativity to bring glory to Him instead of myself. I discovered through my own worthless efforts that I was trying to create on my own- Instead of being Creative with God.
I believe God has a desire for all of Life to become Spiritual Worship. He desires us to enjoy Him and to make Him known. God has blessed us with gifts, and talents. And more often times than not we take those talents and use them for our own personal gain, forgetting to worship and thank the one that created them in us to start with.
Life is short. To quote DR Who: “It all just disappears, doesn’t it? Everything you are, gone in a moment; like breath on a mirror.”
Imagine stopping for a moment this next year and surrendering everything to Him. Bathing everything in prayer. Taking your talents (whatever the may be) and letting His light shine through you during the process of you using them.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I believe God gives us talents so was can succeed in life. I do. Whether we make greats gains financially or not. But I also believe we should use those talents to build a platform to point others toward Him.
So the question is this. What if no one ever saw your talent in action…? What if no tasted your food, tried your recipe, looked at your art, read your devotions or you novel…? What if your sculpture sat in some dusty warehouse with no eye to admire it…? What if only you and God knew the words on the page…? Would it be enough to know it was there, and that you created it with God…?