I have been reading a book by John Eldredge called “Wild At Heart.” It is interesting to me how God places things in our path that parallel what we are going through at the time. This book is doing that for me right now. It isn’t a how to book for finding a job or career, nor is it a book about relationships. What it is is a book about finding what it means to be a man. Or more directly what it means to be a man of God. One who seeks to live life fully and abundantly, wildly and passionately, just as we were called to do. Often times a sentence or a passage will speak to me. Here is one such sentence and it got to me today, especially in light of last nights post on “living on purpose.”
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (From a book by Gil Bailie)
So this sentence really hit home with me. It smacked me right between the eyes because I have been trying to find out what the world needs from me. What I mean is that I have been trying to match the particular skills and abilities that God has placed in me with the jobs out there waiting to be filled. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but there is a danger of missing out on what God has called you to do.
Think of it this way in regards to the discussion on leaving a legacy. For those of you reading who have children, which would you rather they say about you:
That my dad (or mom) radiated an inner joy and contentment from doing what made them come alive or that my dad (or mom) was really skilled and successful in whatever career path you have chosen? Which of the two do you think the world can understand better? Probably the second one: that you are really good at the job you do. Is there any wonder that most of us buy into that mentality and seek to be the best or most educated or most esteemed at what we do even though it does nothing for us on the inside? We are surrounded with a society in America that pushes the “American Dream.” Again, there is nothing wrong with that. But what you have to ask yourself is this, Am I a citizen of America first or a citizen of Heaven first? The answer will be reflected in the path you choose and therefore the legacy you leave.
All my life I have known that I was a citizen of Heaven first. The Bible tells us we are “aliens” here. That explains a lot about how different I have felt in the past. The choices I have made that brought me to where I am are not easily understood by the world. But they make perfect sense to me.
So if this world is not my home, then asking, “what the world needs” is an exercise in futility. What this world needs is for me to be true to myself, to be unashamedly Christian in all that I do, to be “salt and light,” to love them like Jesus loves me and to follow the path that He has set forth for me.
So for the past few weeks, without knowing that’s what I was doing, I have been trying to determine what “makes me come alive.” The resounding response within my heart and on this page is writing. I don’t know how I could have missed it thus far. It took God removing all of my distractions to bring it clearly to light. So in a way, this epiphany has helped chart the course of my direction. In a sense it will be a concrete way to help define and leave my legacy. Not because my words are special in and of themselves, but rather because the light that is in me that has come alive will be reflected on the pages that you read before you. You don’t even have to know me to know that I am sincere in the words I write. But hopefully for those of you who do know me, and especially for my wife and children, I am establishing a legacy that will long outlast me and certainly outlast the things of this world. You see I am working on a legacy that I will one day be able to look down from heaven and see its effects on the ones who succeed me.
That is my hope and my dream. That is my desire. To be a brick in the wall, like those who have gone before me. To be used to help build the Kingdom of God in whatever way the Master Builder sees fit. That is my purpose. That is my calling. That is my legacy.