If you could meet with one person, who would it be? The president? A celebrity? The pope? Or maybe a professional athlete? Take a second and dream about the encounter. And then ask yourself an honest question. Would it change anything about your life?
Family reunions are fun for me. I’ve heard the horror stories and seen the dread in people’s eyes as they talk about seeing extended family. Tales of family drama ruin many a family reunion. But it’s not that way for me. Continue reading “Family Reunions”
After more than a century of slavery and mistreatment, these words were spoken by Martin Luther King Jr. during a rally in Washington, D.C. in 1963. It was a speech that spurred on legislation by Congress to give blacks equal rights to whites, a monumental day in our nation’s history. His words are some of the most famous words ever spoken, but I do have to wonder if the spirit behind them has faded.
For some time now, I’ve been trying to understand why a majority of guys seem so non-committal in their faith and in church. Their faith in God barely goes past attending church. This perspective is somewhat generalized because I realize there are definitely men who take their faith and service to God seriously. But those guys seem to be rare. From my observation, most guys see faith as something not for them, like it’s boring. Why is this?
I have a confession. I don’t live my life expecting God to do great things. The way I approach each day is typically unfocused, with an over reliance on “go with the flow” to dictate what I do. I let things happen to me rather than take hold and make things happen.
My attitude most day is “what happens is what happens”. I rarely live with expectancy. I don’t drive to work, or interact with a friend, or read the Bible, or write, or pray expecting God to do something. No, I allow my self-interest to get in the way. Isn’t that what it boils down to most of the time? Self-interest vs. God-interest? If I can be honest for a moment, I live each day expecting myself to do amazing things. Unfortunately, I lack the ability to do anything amazing because I’m flawed. We all are.
So what can you and I do to change this perspective we approach our lives with? I believe every person wants their life to matter to some degree. We are designed to live with purpose but somewhere along the line we lost touch with the Purpose-Giver. Here are a few ways to reclaim the unique purpose given to each of us, the one which resonates deep in our souls.
1. Realize it’s not about you. This simple phrase is how Rick Warren begins his best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life. “It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness.” I struggle hard with this especially when it comes to my writing. I want what I write to impact people, but I grasp for a gauge on how effective I am at doing that. So I obsess over stats, likes, follows, and retweets. It is easy for my writing to become all about me and the empire I’m trying to build. So I guess at what posts and articles to write that might appeal to my audience instead of writing what’s on my heart. But God’s been reminding me that it’s a gift He gave to be used for HIs purposes. My inspiration needs to come from Him and not my own self-interest driven ideas. What purpose have you been created to do but has been hijacked by self-interest?
2. Start each day with the right perspective. In Acts 4, after Peter and John had been released from the Jewish Council unscathed, the church immediately prayed. But their prayer didn’t start with “keep us safe” like you would think it would. No, it started with a confession of God’s greatness and with truth of who He is and what He’s done. Then the believers asked God for boldness to continue speaking His word. What they did next is what we should do everyday. Start with God. I’m so guilty of jumping into prayer times with a laundry list of what I want. Rarely do I stop to get synced up with God and His agenda. I don’t start my day or a writing session or really anything with Him. The times I do, however, change the trajectory of my day. When I begin with God, I emerge expecting Him to do amazing things. My focus has been shifted from self-interest to God-focus.
Everyone wants to lead a meaningful life, but it looks different for each of us. The only true way to make an impact is to allow God to fill our desires with His desires. By remembering it’s not about you and to start each day with a God-centered perspective so you can enjoy a life full of purpose and joy.
By Wesley Hicks
We all seek wholeness and joy, but none of us can find it on our own. We need help but are often too full of pride to admit it. Because we are designed to seek these things, we will pursue them in one of two ways: According to God’s design or according to our own.
When we pursue wholeness and joy in relationship with God, we will find even the rough spots of life won’t derail us on the track laid out by His design. As we continue to see Him leading us toward more wholeness, we also see a natural curve happen as our Joy in Him is increased. The more joy we find in Him, the more geared we become toward wholeness and we begin a cycle of Joy-fed wholeness in relation to Him that overflows into our relationships with others. Continue reading “How recovery applies to everyone (Guest Post)”