Often people tell me that they wish they could do what I’m doing, that they long to do something significant. That by coming to East Africa, I am living out a dream. I am making a difference. And quite frankly, I’m encouraged to know that people other than my mom think I’m special.
Humbled by this affirmation, I feel an ever-increasing responsibility to make my life count. Its as if I have been given a charge, entrusted not to mess up this opportunity of being young, adventurous, and ambitious.
But here’s where that responsibility is skewed.
The opportunity to live a meaningful life is not offered solely to those who are young, adventurous, and ambitious. The opportunity—or rather, responsibility—to live a great life doesn’t discriminate by age, personality, or geographic location.
In Christ, we have ALL been called to abundant, effective lives.
So if we’ve all been called to live great lives, why aren’t we doing so?
If we all have a longing to make our lives count, what prevents us from achieving great things? Why do so many of us live with regrets? Perhaps our own desire for greatness hinders the greatness we are pursuing. Beth Moore, in her study on Esther, suggests that “seeking to be extraordinary isn’t the answer [to our regular, mundane lives] because great lives are never achieved by making greatness the goal”.
Consider people such as Abraham, Moses, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther, William Wilburforce, or Mother Teresa. Do you think they ever thought their lives were great while they were living them? I doubt it. I think they were simply doing ordinary things for the sake of God’s glory which became extraordinary as a result of Him. Its the small acts of courage, the steady pursuit of possibility, the ordinary things done with conviction which change the course of history.
Do you want to live an effective life? Do you want your life to matter?
Don’t neglect to do something good because you’re waiting to do something great. And that which is done in Christ’s name can be transformed from unremarkable to remarkable, monotonous to monumental, ordinary to extraordinary.
That may sound idealistic and unrealistic, but I have to believe that each of us has a purpose here on earth. I want to achieve my God-given destiny.
That said, in the coming days I’m going to shelf my perfectionist, high-achiever mentality. I vow to write even if the story doesn’t seem worthwhile or life-changing. I pray that by enjoying God’s glory and finding complete satisfaction in Him, He will bring glory to Himself, changing my ordinary things into that which is extraordinary. I encourage you to do the same. Don’t let fear prevent you from pursuing a purposeful life.
“What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” – Mother Teresa
*Many of these thoughts were prompted by the book, “Don’t Waste Your Life”, by John Piper.