What brings a person value, significance, and hope is not what he does but with whom he does it. The call to live in continual communion with God means that every person's life, no matter how mundane, is elevated to sacred heights.
- With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye JethaniI'm currently reading With:Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye Jethani. I've been challenged by how he describes the different postures in how people relate to God. The one that resonates that most with me is LIFE FOR GOD. In this relationship, you find significance in doing a lot of great things for God. Missionaries and pastors often fall into this pattern. We tend to want to find our importance in our service for Him.
However, I've known for a while now that this just isn't enough. I noticed this significantly when I went back to America last August. At the time of that trip, I was in a very low place. I was questioning a lot of what I was doing in Thailand, and I didn't feel like I was accomplishing anything. I looked back fondly on the ministries and friends that I had left back in Seattle and wondered why I ever felt the attraction to move halfway across the world to just sit in my house.
They fixate, and some obsess, about "making a difference in the world." They fear living lives of insignificance. They worry about not achieving the right things - or not enough of the right things. Behind all of this is the LIFE FOR GOD belief that their value is determined by what they achieve. I've learned that when a student asks me, "What should I do with my life?" what he or she really wants to know is, "How can I prove that I'm valuable?"
- With chapter 5It was during my trip that I heard a lot of encouraging things from friends, family and people from the churches I got to visit. Many people wished they were able to do what I was doing in Thailand, and I felt like I wasn't doing anything! I felt as though people looked at me as being super-spiritual, but my eyes were seeing a different story. I was seeing how God was using these people already in their communities. They may not be a "missionary", but how they were living their lives showed their love for God. Maybe they didn't see it, but I could. It didn't make their lives any less significant because they didn't live in a foreign country.
LIFE FOR GOD uses him and his mission to gain a sense of direction and purpose.
But LIFE WITH GOD is different because its goal is not to use God, its goal is God.
- With chapter 6This brings so much freedom. My sense of worth is not caught up on what I'm able to do or accomplish. I find my identity in being with my Savior. Savoring my time with him. Knowing that this is enough.
When what I was struggling this last fall with who I was and what I my purpose was, I found myself crying out to God. I was looking to belong somewhere, and God told me that my identity is in Christ and that is enough. Nothing else matters. Only Him.
I'm still learning, but I'm thankful for authors who can help me gain a better perspective of how I can relate to God. After all, my eternal life with Him has already begun. May my relationship only grow more.