I really must start out this post with a question – “What is taking over your thoughts throughout the day?” Or more personally for me – What is taking over my thoughts?
Are our thoughts monopolized by/stuck on finding a better job/a job? A better car? A better place to live? Putting food on the table? A girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife? More money in the bank? Looking better than our neighbors? Looking better than our family and friends? Are we concerned about what others think of us? Are we looking forward to that next vacation away from everything that we have amassed, or that job we brag about, so that we can recover???
Thinking through this list of questions, I cannot help but wonder if many of us are missing out on something more important. Something that will drive our day toward the greater good. I cannot help but wonder if I have been silent about things that really matter?
I pray that I haven’t been silent. But then again… are my periodic prayers, my weekly men’s group, my attendance at church, my blog post, and my email notes of encouragement enough?
Where is God in all of this? What am I doing to live more Christ like? How am I really helping others? Am I even concerned with helping others?
Ugh… then I start to think about what we are living for? What can we say is the guiding force in our lives that radiate out of us for all to see? That one thing people who know us will say – “Yip, that is ___________ (your name goes here).”
Will they say that we are driven by:
• pride and arrogance.
• accumulating material things.
If they did, how would that make you feel? Is that really you or me? Or, are we living a bit of a double life – allowing others to perceive us differently than we really want to be? I mean come on! – can’t we have a “church life,” a “social life,” a “family life,” and a “work life”? What is wrong with that????
These are all really hard questions for me right now. But, after living the life I have lived, surviving cancer, two teenage daughters (yes that is surviving), and continuing to grow closer to God, I have come to realize that none of those things will bring about true happiness. That all of our lives must operate as one. Church life cannot be separate from social life, etc. My relationship with Jesus must radiate out from me.
I know that we cannot get into heaven merely by doing good things –, but I want my faith to lead my actions, and I want the two to match up and be in sync.
One of my biggest fears in life (and I DO have a few) is when I approach that point when I have to account for the things that I did and did not do. That point when my faith and my actions should have been in sync. That is the moment when I pray I do not hear God tell me that something was wrong? That my life has been somewhat incomplete. That there should have been more? That there MUST have been more.
STOP there… and ask yourself some honest questions about your faith and your actions. Are you living the life that God wants from you? The purpose you were created for?
Are they in sync?
If not, what are you doing about it?
One thing I try to do is to talk regularly with God – to find my purpose by asking Him. Those talks when I become somewhat selfish and ask for guidance and direction for me rather than those around me. To ask for knowledge to use what I have been given, and the talents I have been blessed with, to help others. I continue to pray daily looking for the direction. I also continue to pray for something else – an open heart and an ear to listen to what God is sharing with me.
God has placed you here for a reason. You are here for more than the accumulation of material things and living an earthly life. Your life has a purpose. Don’t live it with regrets.
Take time to listen to what God is saying. Each of us hears him differently. I hear him through the loving words of a family member or friend. I also feel His loving guidance during those “God tingle” moments. If you aren’t there yet in your relationship with God, ask for Him to come into your life, and then ask that He teach you how to have this personal relationship. He will guide you.