“Whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” – Philippians 3:7
Day 2! (If you don’t know, we are reading Made for This: 40 Days to Living Your Purpose by Jennie Allen! Get your copy here and get caught up!) Is everyone loving this book as much as I am? I love that it is short enough that you can read it relatively quickly, but that it also includes longer reflections for more focused times. I read the devotional part this morning, but didn’t sit down to do the reflection and journaling until tonight so that I could take the time I needed and really think about it.
On Day 2, we are being challenged to figure out what our “anything” is. If we are going to surrender to God and give up our lives for Him entirely, then what are we actually praying for when we say “anything.”
I love on the first page of Day 2 when she says, “I am living for the moment when I will face You.” This really made me think. Am I living to please other people? To make money? To acquire things? Or am I living so that every moment of my life is contributing to the day that I will face God? I can be honest and say that I do not always live this way. I rarely live this way because I have never thought about it like this. When you take on this mentality, everything you do becomes part of the goal, everything you do is motivated by what God wants for your life instead of what you want for it.
I am a self-proclaimed control freak. And I am honest about it. I could bore you with all the reasons behind why I am like this, but instead I will just say that I am aware I have a need for control, and I exercise it almost all of the time. So when Jennie says on page 9, “And as He peeled our grip off our lives, it hurt.” I could relate instantly. Whenever I feel called to do something, I am almost always white-knuckled, hanging onto what I think I need, what I already know, comfort, etc. etc. instead of giving it, and letting go, and praying, “anything.” This is one of my biggest prayers and deepest desires throughout this 40 days; that I will be able to loosen the grip and just say, “Okay, anything. Whatever you say.”
The Domino Effect
I absolutely loved her imagery about dominoes (pg 10). She acknowledges that we are small. We are just one person in a sea of millions, but the reason that we make a difference is because our difference-making begins a domino effect. If you are tiny, but you are a domino, then despite your physical size, your figurative size is infinite. I love this idea so much and I want to carry that imagery with me into everything I do. I was a public school teacher for 7 years and I often would get discouraged and have these exact thoughts…”But I am not even making a difference.” But I was making a difference (and shout out to all teachers, you are the dominoes). I was a domino in the lives of my students and I hope I formed them into dominoes who then carried out the effect in the world around them and so forth. My impact stretched on infinitely even when I could not tell. The same goes for trusting in God and sharing your faith and bringing others to Jesus. If you are able to bring even one person to Jesus, your impact is infinite over the span of time because you have no idea how many lives your domino will eventually encounter.
How do we know where God is calling us?
One thing that I struggle with is knowing when I am being called to do something and when I am calling myself to do something. Over the last few years I have learned to check my motives and constantly be try to be in tune with why I am choosing to do something, but I still can be very honest that I struggle with hearing God’s call to any one purpose. (Hence why I was so excited to read this book along with you!) On page 10, Jennie talks about God speaking, and I don’t think I could have underlined it any more than I did. She basically said that God speaks to us first through his Word and if we don’t become familiar with the Word of God then we will never be able to recognize his call to anything. She uses the example that if she had not read God’s word about caring for the poor then she would have never been able sense his call to adopt. This is something I need and want to focus on during the reading of this book. I want to be able to get to know God’s Word in a new way so that I will hear whatever He is calling me to do.
I am starting to really think about what my “anything” is and trying to combine that with my gifts and talents and the things I love to do. I know that God is calling me somewhere and I know that it might come all at once or it might come slowly over time, but I am ready to figure out what my God-given purpose is, and I know you are too!