“Where are you going to college?”
“What do you want to be?”
“Do you want to swim in college?”
“What majors are you thinking about?”
“When do you graduate?”
“Where do you want to live?”
Teenagers out there– can I get an amen?
So maybe this isn’t every teenager’s thoughts and frequently-asked questions.
Maybe while I’m being a nerd of a teenager at math and science school, most other teenagers are thinking about their hot-date on Saturday night or the score of the Friday-night football game.
But in general, there are plenty of us who are so overwhelmed with the future and the options that it all seems to merge together, and sometimes I’d rather just work at Taco Bell and forget all that geriatric doctor or engineer or surgeon nonsense.
So as I am running the other day, I think about all the things I want to be, see, do.
And something stops me in my tracks:
When did my life become about me?
I realize that there is often a serious problem with the way I look at my life…
I look at it as mine.
I wake up in the morning in my bed and see my friends and my coffee and my grades and my house and my family and my shoes and my this and my that…. my life.
Since when did I have the authority to call this life mine?
A life is lived for myself– it’s such a waste. And I don’t want to waste my life on myself.
I want to live for something greater, something so much more wonderful than anything I could ever do or make or see or touch or taste.
I want to live for Jesus.
Because anything I do outside of Christ– it’s all dust. It will fade. It dry out. It will die. It will never be enough.
But Jesus– He is forever.
Because my human hands can never touch hearts. My hands are small and meek and inadequate without intervention.
But Jesus– He is able.
Because a life lived for myself is pointless.
But a life lived for Him– that’s real living.
When I realize that my life is not about me, then comes freedom, peace, and joy.
Freedom comes by realizing that I am free of my sin. I am free of the constant struggle of measuring up and meeting the mark. I am free of selfish desires and a heart that will never be satisfied.
Peace comes by knowing that there is a God who will measure up. There is a God who loves me. There is a God who is worth my praise, my humble works, my life.
Joy comes by knowing that this God has chosen to love me. He allows me to be liberated of myself and my darkness. He gives me a life worth living. And I am so thankful for that.
So my prayer is that these verses would be true in my life.
“He must increase, I must decrease.” – John 3:30
“But whatever was profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him.” – Philippians 3: 7-9
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price” – 1 Corinthians 19b-20a
“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus–the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” – Act 20:24
So one day I might be a gastroenterologist, missionary, Taco Bell manager, housekeeper, whatever.
But I pray that in everything– whether family, work, play, etc.– that Christ is the center.
Because at the end of this life, it doesn’t matter who I was or what I did or how I impacted others… (and I’m so glad, because I won’t measure up)
It’s about love poured out. It’s about Him. He is the alpha, omega, beginning, and end.
And I so honored that He would choose to work through my little hands in this big life.
– Mary Madeline