Boy oh boy did I delay on this one!!
The skeleton of this message had been in my mind for quite a while, but sensing that I might not enjoy writing it, I..er, ….. well to be honest I just kept pretending it wasn’t really there, in the hope that I could get away with not having to write it at all.
So much for that plan working out!!
I’m sure that by the end of this article some of you will be wishing it had. Lol
Romans 8 vs 28 says that ‘All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose”.
I’m currently on my way to Gbagada to facilitate a Sales course.
Due to the on-going maintenance work on Third Mainland Bridge my driver has had to take Eko Bridge – onto Ikorodu road.
The route we take after that? I haven’t got the foggiest idea. That’s for the driver to work out.
Strangely, contrary to my expectation of getting irritated because of the enforced detour, I’m actually enjoying the journey.
So much so that on God’s prompting to start writing, rather than make excuses or argue, I joyfully agreed and commenced (yes – you can indeed argue with God. You’ll end up losing the argument, but I guess there isn’t much harm in trying your luck every now and then).
Why on earth am I in such a good mood???
Could it be because I know that today is a day in which I will be doing at least two of the things I love doing the most? – writing, as I’m doing now – and teaching ( Facilitating a Sales course).
Yep, that’s the reason.
I’m sure you’ve all noticed the increased frequency of messages urging us to ‘fulfil our purpose’ and to ‘be all we can be’ during the past few years.
These are indeed marvellous and powerful messages, which I have no doubt have helped many several thousands of people – including myself.
However during the past few months I have grown more and more uncomfortable with a particular aspect of these messages. So much so that I now cringe a little whenever I hear them!
My concern is that once again we have found a way of turning a message designed for service to God and to others to one that is focused on ‘me, me and me’. Oops! I almost forgot – and ‘me’ as well.
Christianity is based on selflessness.
Not me and me.
When we say ‘fulfil your purpose’ or ‘be everything / all you can be’ who exactly are we doing it for????
Should we be striving to fulfill our purpose for self-gratification / self success and self adulation?
There is of-course nothing wrong with wanting to fulfil one’s purpose for these reasons. Everyone is different, and I’m not saying anyone is right or wrong.
But is it solely about the readies????
I can’t help feeling a little ‘urgh’ish’ whenever I hear these phases being used in a Christian context.
Before going any further I want us to have the following verse simmering both consciously and subconsciously in our minds;
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and all other things will follow”
It isn’t only in a church building that we can serve God.
In-fact, logically speaking, bearing in mind the fact that God wants as many people as possible to hear the gospel, it is more than likely that our most effective service to God is done outside of church buildings – on a daily basis.
Before ardent church goers gratefully take advantage of the opportunity to jump down my throat, let me point out that I am not saying don’t serve God in church buildings on Sundays and on weekdays, or any other day for that matter.
What I am saying is that ‘YOU’ have a gift from God. Use it to serve Him – every day – in the work place, in your business environment, on the running track, at school – in whatever you do and where-ever you are.
God is not boring. He’s far from boring. He doesn’t want or expect us to serve Him by doing something that we don’t enjoy doing.
He has blessed us with talents that are the very nature of our being; talents that excite us whenever we imagine what we can do with them; that we can have fun with; that we are passionate about.
Do you sometimes get a glimpse of yourself doing something quite extraordinary in the future? Something that gets you really excited? Something that you’re passionate about???
I know I do.
Despite the voices in your head telling you to ‘stop fantasising’ and ‘get real’ it is more than likely that those glimpses are actually your real future; the real you.
You just have to believe, plan, and execute.
Next time you get such an exciting glimpse of your future I want you to ask yourself the following questions;
1. Is it something that excites me?
2. Is it something that I’ll have fun doing?
3. Is it something that I desire?
4. Is it something that I’m passionate about?
If the answers to all four questions is yes then it is actually not just your very possible future but indeed your very real one.
It is what you were created to do.
Now here’s the rub.
Notice that all four questions are more or less connected to the very fibre of your being??!!
The very dynamics of your character??!!
God created you and I to be passionate about specific things; to find certain things to be fun; to desire certain things; to find certain things exciting.
He made each and every one of us that way so that we can successfully achieve His purpose for us.
I am very concerned by some of the messages that are coming out of pulpits these days.
We seem to be encouraging people to focus purely on succeeding for themselves; to be successful in business; to be successful in their careers.
The reason for my concern is that we risk the real and more than present danger of raising a generation of children whose relationship with God and one another is based solely on how materially successful they are; a generation with an even more acute condition of ‘me-me-itus’ than ours.
I’m sure you agree when I say that there times when one wonders, “what is all this for? Why am I here? Why this continuous punishment that we call the rat race?
I remember walking through London Bridge station on my way to a meeting, the day after my darling mum waved goodbye to planet earth on her way to heaven (although that really wasn’t how I saw it for the first few days. I’d never been more angry with God!).
I was in a complete daze and feeling just a tad disoriented. My slightly confused state of mind was heightened by the sight of a mass of people walking briskly to their work place.
I kept asking myself “why are we all doing this?
What’s the point?
What’s it all for?”
Needless to say a few days later the reality of having to pay bills soon put paid to such outlandish thoughts!
I’m sure many of us have had such moments. Indeed we don’t necessarily have to go through torment or sorrow to experience them.
But there is a reason we are here.
We’re here to serve God and each other.
We’re here to make a positive difference to other people’s lives; a positive difference to humanity.
Let’s not fool ourselves. There will no doubt be times of sorrow and times of difficulty.
But rather than hone our amazing ability to feel sorry for ourselves, let’s try to remember that although earth is not our final destination, each of us has an important and specific role to play in our love and service to God, family, friends and community.
Yes – You are blessed with an awesome talent.
Use it first and foremost to better people’s lives.
Stop trying to work out how you can make money from it. That’s the ‘me-me-itus’ playing up again.
Use it to bless others, and be rest assured that your father in heaven will provide for all your needs.
Next time you get an exciting glimpse of you future – don’t let it out of your sight; don’t dismiss it as arrant nonsense.
But rather, dwell on it!
It is what you were created to do.
It is who you were created to be.
It is who you really are.
Embrace it and ask yourself these following questions;
“How can I use this to bless others?”
“How can I use this to bless my community?”
“How can I use this to bless my country?”
Let your focus be on loving God with all your heart, all your strength, and all your mind- serving Him; and loving your neighbour with all your heart, all your strength, and all your mind- serving others.
Your father in heaven wants the very best for you.
So be rest assured that all other things will indeed follow.
Now do your utmost to appreciate this wonderful gift called ‘Life’ and enjoy your weekend!