How to Know What You Are Doing Matters

by Christina Hubbard. This doesn’t feel like I thought it would. In this territory of doing what makes me come alive, there are few assurances with just a sprinkling of hints that maybe, just maybe, I’m going in the right direction. I’m doing the things I believe I was made to do: write, speak, teach, and invite others into the journey. Regularly, I do things which scare me, but my voice hasn’t stopped shaking. At least, it doesn’t FEEL like it.

I told a friend recently, “I thought this would feel surer. I thought doing what I am called to do would give me a sense of purpose.” Maybe I expected self-doubt to disappear or my inner critic to hush up once and for all. But with each step into the unknown, I continually ask myself, “Should I be running in the other direction?”

Does doing what makes us come alive really change us?

Do we get more confident on this path of creative courage? Why don’t we experience the positive side effects right away? Things like boldness and just knowing. Things like speaking into empty spaces and seeing God at work. Evidence, people.

What we influencers want to know is this: am I making a difference? We want physical confirmation, outside ourselves and within. We want to both see and hear the stories of transformation and new connections. We want to experience bravery in our bones.

We expect results for our effort. Not necessarily numbers or success, but a core belief that what we are doing really does matter. We hope our faithfulness in the menial will fill us with significance. That we have endured and done well. Our work is worth a sense of self-worth, right?

Wrong.

God does not give us self-esteem. He does not even promise us tomorrow. He hands us right now. This moment. He gives us the work of today. More importantly, He offers us faith. I love to call it a belief beyond ourselves. In the present moment, we come honestly, imperfectly and ask Him to help us do the task at hand. Because we know we can’t. Not on our own. If we do believe that, then we’ve got some pride to work through. We depend on God, small choice by small choice. Tweet This

Call this abiding, showing up, or listening.

Sometimes we get a high five. Most days we do not. Chances are we’ll hear someone else being told “Awesome job!” We’ll overhear that friend we’ve poured our effort into saying thanks to another person who’s influenced them. Those are the moments we are really tempted to wonder: is what I’m doing important?

Let me tell you my truth (the one that hit me upside the head this morning): what you do is not the ticket. Who you are is. Remember: you are a daughter or a son of the King. You are beloved, not compared. You are known, not ignored. You are a new creation, not a recycled milk jug. You are filled. You are empowered. You are gifted.

You don’t have to feel it to know it.

You don’t have to see the person you are praying for to know that God is helping them when you ask. You don’t have to see a blessed miracle or know the next thing to do.

What we are doing is moving steadily in the right direction, inch by inch. There will be moments of great knowing. Of feeling the sinews of your muscles taught with God-breathed energy and life and you feel like you could explode with joy! There will be many, many of those. There will moments when your fingers fly across a keyboard or your voice says things you could never come up with on your own but you know it was God. It happens. There will also be moments, like mine today, when the rejection notices pile up and you run to a book, podcast, or a blog post, to escape the discomfort.

These are the intermittent moments, when birds chirp and traffic passes and you’re staring out the window, a little down, a tad faithless, a bit wound and frayed from all the wondering: know you matter. Know that by living into the identity of one who is loved, the doing happens, but it’s importance lessens.

You will care less about yourself and more about God. You will learn to hone a sense of the eternal, not the temporal. You will relish the internal tension which reminds you are human, God is God, and He knows what we need this very second.

Yes, my friend, you are changing. Even now. That influences a lot.

A Simple Prayer by Richard Foster

from Prayers from the Heart

I am, oh God, a jumbled mass of motives. One moment I’m adoring You and the next I’m shaking my fist at You. I vacillate between mounting hope and deepening despair. I am full of faith and full of doubt. I want the best for others and am jealous when they get it. Even so, God, I will not run from your presence nor will I pretend to be what I am not. Thank you for accepting me with all my contradictions. Amen.

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May 1, 2018