Am I even doing any of the work you created me to do, God?
Have you ever asked this question? Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve asked it repeatedly in different seasons of life, and more frequently during times of uncertainty.
When I’m zoned in with laser-clear purpose, be it as a:
satisfaction wells up from a space of identity and meaning, but when floundering in ambiguity, I struggle, often with anxiety rising from crevasses of uncertainty.
This spring, as I read a familiar passage from The Message translation, I felt peace and even purpose wash over me, despite my perpetual holding pattern.
Don’t miss these words of silver and gold!
“Let me tell you why you are here.
You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.
If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
“Here’s another way to put it:
You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.
God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!
Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matt. 5:13-16
As these words sunk deep into withered places in my soul I didn’t know existed, my eyes opened to purpose even when unclear of my next steps.
These beautiful, poetic words are pregnant with possibility, but how does this play out practically?
Looking to Jesus, I found clues of how to bring out the God-flavors and God-colors in the world.
All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to him. And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:1-2
Who were the sinners they were referring to?
- Tax collectors
- The sick and disabled
- The uneducated
- The marginalized
Jesus welcomed them- teaching, healing and loving them, eating, drinking and laughing with them.
To Jesus, they were not projects, but people.
What could be more appealing and inviting than someone who truly listens, accepts, and loves people no matter their race, status, or gender?
And there are a million different ways to love and accept people. Jesus talks about a few in this passage:
- Keep open house
- Be generous
- Open yourself up to others
That hosting thing—I work at it, yet it’s a struggle. But I can be generous with my life, opening myself up to others in myriad ways.
If I only would.
It’s so much easier to stay small, comfortable, and keep my head down. In other words, focus on me.
Much of the time I feel overwhelmed, so I don’t even try. But I think Jesus would say, “Start small, where you are with what you have.“
- If you listen well, sit a spell.
- If you can host, keep open house.
- If you’re handy, help when possible.
- If you’re employed, work with excellence.
- If you have resources, give.
- If you have babies, grab a rocking chair.
- If you can cook, share a meal.
- If you’re older and wiser, mentor someone.
- If you like praying, talk to Jesus on someone’s behalf.
God knew just what we needed for the work He created us to do, and placed us in just the right places throughout our lives to open up to others, so people will open up with God.
So, when the uncertainty of this decade delivers anxiety on a silver platter, I can embrace what Jesus does for me every day, and let it flow through me to others naturally, organically and occasionally, intentionally.
You can too! It doesn’t have to be planned, well-thought-out, or perfectly calculated. Just be who He created you to be, allowing Him to work through you as you discover the unique ways He fashioned you to be the salt-seasoning and light-bearers of the world in your little corner of it.