I have started this blog in my head several times but for one reason or the other have not managed to put pen to paper. Until now. The year 2014 has started off with the excitement of a few new projects – I am still working on some of them – and trying to decide what I would like my year to look like. I am at the same time excited and daunted by the possibilities; the prospect of seeing God work not only in my life, but in the lives of those dear to me.
Instead of my usual list of goals for the year, I have decided to go with one word. My word for the year is MORE. And, yes, it’s a big word I know. Have you ever wondered if there was more to life that what you have experienced so far? I have. Often. .
Recently I was pondering on the fact that many people I know have this overwhelming desire to accomplish something of worth. Something that lives on long after they are gone. Whether it is writing a life changing book, creating a piece of art, bringing up amazing children, or helping those less fortunate, there is something in most of us that reaches for greatness.
A lot of the time (certainly in my case), this desire simmers gently in the background, pushed there by life’s demands or distractions. In fact I could go for weeks and sometimes even months without once giving thought to this desire. At other times, it rears its head, refusing to be silenced until I have given it the attention it rightly deserves. Sometimes there is the nagging thought in the background, “shouldn’t you be content with what you have already?” At times like this I am not always certain whether this is the voice of reason or the voice of the enemy. But at others times, accompanying this dissatisfaction, is a feeling of excitement and anticipation, and a knowing deep down that it is Father God who has put this desire in my heart for more. The song writer in the song, “there must be more than this, Spirit of God, we wait for you”, must have shared my sentiments.
A few weeks ago I came across an article in the Believers Voice of Victory that spoke about this very thing. The writer made this statement, “you were made to be spectacular”. Immediately there was a witness in my spirit. I couldn’t agree more. The reason why we sometimes feel ourselves reaching for more is because we were designed for more. Whether it is in our relationships, our health, our reaching out to others in God’s behalf, our finances, our work – we were designed to be so different in the way we do life that others cannot help but stop and stare. When was the last time your life caused that reaction in someone else?
Think about it this way, the masterpiece-ness (if there is such a word) of Mona Lisa points to its painter, Leonardo da Vinci. The one who gets the accolade for the sculpture of David or the scene from Genesis in the Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo. In the same way, God gets the glory when His children shine like they were made to. Ephesians 2:10 says that we are “God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the things He planned for us long ago.” God loves to show us off, like every proud parent I know. He longs to show the world, just how amazing He – and therefore us, His creation – are. He wants to do this through us.
I remember when my kids were little how I celebrated their successes however small. Then it was often with ‘wows’ and ‘whoops’ but now I have to be more subtle as they are teenagers and so easily embarrassed. But I am just as thrilled now when they shine forth even in the midst of adverse circumstances as I was then and I can’t help wanting to tell the world how amazing they are. God is no different. He loves to declare how amazing, you His creation are. The more often you hear this, the more you’ll believe it and the more your actions will correspond to what you believe. There really is more than what you have seen or walked in. That’s why there is sometimes a restlessness in you that suggests that you have been in one spot too long.
So what do we do with this desire for more? We reach out to the one who put the desire in us in the first place and we surrender ourselves to His plan. We refuse to settle for ordinary, beaten down lives. But like William Barclay once said, “we expect great things from God, and do great things for Him”. We pray big prayers and we take big risks for Him. We allow ourselves to be stretched, even nudged gently from our nests of comfort like Mother Eagle does to her chicks when she thinks they are ready to fly. We pick ourselves up when life throws us a curve ball and we keep going. We refuse to give up even when it seems that we have lost. We open our hearts and our lives to others at the risk of being hurt, and we live our lives with open hands not closed ones.
Like Paul, “we are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Cor 4:8,9 NLT). And we most certainly do not give up. Ever.
I finish with this quote A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Go, on, go out there and shine. That’s what you were made for.
In Christ’s wonderful love