my entire life has changed in the last year in some very positive ways. And it’s all because I started asking myself one simple question.
But, let’s back up for a minute. A few years ago, my life didn’t make sense to me. Some long held roles in my life were changing, and I began to see how closely linked my sense of self had become to the responsibilities within these roles. I saw that who I thought I was, (identity), had become enmeshed with what I did, (roles). So, if my current roles and responsibilities changed – who was I? A classic identity crisis.
Job 23:10 “But he knows the way that I take, when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
I found myself confused, sad, vaguely unfulfilled, and discontent. When life doesn’t make sense to me, I start asking questions. *The questions I asked during this time were:
- What is my purpose? (How can I be sure?)
- What do I believe to be true about myself? (Who am I? Is that a correct assessment? How can I know?)
- Where am I getting my sense of self worth? (What determines ‘worthiness’? Why is this important to me?)
I wasn’t at all sure of the answers, so I did the only thing I knew to do, I Lifted My Eyes and prayed. The answer I sensed did not make things clearer; I understood it, it just didn’t seem like THE answer to MY questions. The answer I sensed the Lord speaking to my heart was, “Make a difference for me today.”
I wish I could pretend to be super spiritual. A few years ago I would’ve pretended to be super spiritual. But, in truth, my response was decidedly unspiritual, and was something along the lines of…
“Seriously? That’s it? Make a difference? I’ve been trying to do that my entire life!”
Again, I heard quietly in my spirit, “Make a difference for ME.”
2 Corinthians 4:15 “…so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the the glory of God.”
A slow dawning of understanding began – a subtle change in perspective – it was an adjustment from my eyes on ME, (what I’m doing, saying, feeling), to Lifting My Eyes to HIM, (what does He do, say, feel?). So, all my former questions aside, I now try to focus on only one question, and it has radically altered the way I approach each day. It is simply this:
How can I make an eternal difference today?
Obviously, this one question will not change outward circumstances and make everything ‘all better’ – but most of the things that concern me are beyond my ability to control anyway. What asking this questions DOES do, is change MY perspective.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Are you facing some things in your life that feel overwhelming and beyond your ability to control? Is your heart (and maybe your voice) crying out for answers? I wonder if, just for today, you would be willing to Lift Your Eyes and leave your concerns, worries, hurts, and fears with God in prayer. Just trust Him with it all.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
And then, look for ways to make an eternal difference by something you do or say. It might be an interaction with someone at work, maybe a stranger, or maybe a friend or family member. Maybe even an interaction with yourself. (Yes, the way you speak to yourself and think of yourself can have a lasting impact .) Be aware. Be alert. Look for ways that God is at work in your world and partner with Him to make a difference today!
Colossians 4:2,6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Until next time, grace & peace to you, Dear Reader
*P.S. The answers to my original questions have come, and are still being made clear to me. But it was not until I was willing to take my eyes off myself and looked to Him, that I could begin to see clearly. In the posts to come I will share more of my journey â˜º.