To live is to inch closer to the inevitable. I have no insight or divine revelation as to the day or the time. I can’t say with any certainty that I will be here tomorrow or with any conviction that I won’t be here fifty years from now. I simple exist until I no longer exist, I live until I die.
What should I do?
I have plans and dreams that I want to see completed. I have milestones that I want to reach and life events I want to observe. In the end there will be the things I have completed, the milestones I have surpassed and the events I have attended but there will also be the ones that I never got to experience. What should I do? What is the goal? What is important? What is valuable?
In the end, whenever that time comes, will I have defined myself by things I hold as valuable, the things that the world holds as valuable, or will I have adopted a new standard for what is valuable, will I be defined by the things God considers valuable?
What does God consider valuable?
You don’t know how bad I want a top ten list right now! Just give me the ten most valuable things that God wants me to achieve and I will get to work on them. If I complete them then I can attempt the next ten. If I live long enough maybe I will make it through the top fifty.
If only it was that simple. If only I could have a checklist. Still, there has to be some framework that limits or expands my understanding of what God considers valuable in light of eternity.
There are things we are all called to do that have eternal value.
Think about it – how I parent reveals God to my children. How I interact at work reveals God to my co-workers. How I spend my free time reveals God to my friends. Anytime I reveal God to another person it has eternal value. I offer a glimpse of the only one that can change the eternal course of others who are inching toward the inevitable.
Think about it – the time you take to pray allows God to reveal Himself to you. The time you take to rest clears your mind so that God can reveal Himself to you. The time you take to worship and learn allows God to reveal Himself to you. Whenever you take time for Godly pursuits you offer yourself a bigger glimpse of the only one that can change the eternal course of others who are inching toward the inevitable.
These are things we are all called to do but what about the things I am personally called to do?
So far it has been easy. The behaviours and disciplines we choose as followers of Christ are all to have eternal value, but what about my personal path, the things that are meant for me and me alone, the things I must do as part of God’s call on my life?
I have heard many say, “be Jesus to others wherever you are and in whatever you are doing.” Who am I to argue that we are to reveal God no matter where we find ourselves? I believe that God in His sovereignty can make any situation into a revelation of Himself that has eternal value.
I am and should remain in awe of what God does in spite of my lack of obedient response but to remain where I am not called does not have eternal value to me. Obedient actions, following the call of the one with the perfect plan carries the highest eternal value for me while revealing God to others. Even Judas was used of God in a way that had eternal value for everyone but I don’t want to be used like Judas.
It is time to ask God about His plan and your part.
First we need to get rid of that which is not of God.
Is what I am contemplating sinful or causing others to sin? The promotion of sin has no eternal value. Don’t be fooled, we still see some things through the eyes of the world making sin difficult to spot.
Now we need to recognize what is not specific to any individual.
Is what I am contemplating nothing more than an activity or job? It is easy to “Christianize” what we want to do as an opportunity to reveal God, this is not a personal calling of eternal value but instead a call for all Christ followers to reveal Christ in all situations.
Our next step is to figure out what is not your calling.
Is what I am contemplating someone else’s calling? It may have incredible eternal value but that does not mean you are called to be the one who does it.
The final step is to understand when.
Is what I am contemplating something for later? It may have incredible eternal value and be your calling but it’s just not the right time. Patience is part of obedience.
Seek God’s will – done God’s way – in God’s time – with God’s chosen resources
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)