What do we live for?
What drives us?
What is our heart focused on?
What is the direction we are moving in?
What would we like to be known for?
3 years ago the life I had fell apart. It wasn’t what I wanted…I fought against it. But regardless of how much I fought, it happened anyway. Everything I loved, everything I had worked for, everything I had made sure was a part of my life so it would be the way I wanted it to be…gone.
Now, 3 years later, I’m sitting here in my house, thinking back over the past few years and processing all that God has been doing in my life lately (he’s been working in my life throughout the past 3 years…but the past few months he has really been working in my heart even more!). As I am sitting here thinking and processing, I’m asking myself a question.
What would I like to be known for?
When you lose everything, you begin to re-look at everything and ask what is actually most valuable. When you have very little to count as your own, you begin to figure out what truly matters in this life. When everything in your life is taken, you start to reconsider what you really want to be a part of your life.
Our world is run by money. It is what makes this world and our society ‘go round’. But is that what I want to run my life? Is that what I want to make my world ‘go round’? Do I want to spend my life working to make as much as I can, so that I’m comfortable and never in need and can do everything I would like to do?
Sounds nice…I have a lot of things in this life that I’d LOVE to get to do, and they all cost money. And there’s nothing with having money and being able to do things that are fun. BUT, is that really want I want my life to be known for? The pursuit and acquisition of money?
It’s tempting at first, until you step back and see what it looks like to live that way by watching people who have chosen to make their life’s pursuit money and what money can get them. When you do that, it begins to lose its appeal. You see that it is an empty way to live…it’s never satisfying because you have to keep chasing it…and it’s lacking in any real value or meaning in life.
The same can be said for many of the other things we could choose to live for and pursue in this life. Fame. Success. Comfort. Entertainment. Etc…
What would we like to be known for?
If I have learned anything from the past 3 years, it’s that life can change in a moment, and all the stuff we chase after and accumulate in this life can be gone. If that’s all there is to chase after and live for, that’s really depressing and hollow and meaningless.
I don’t want to get to the end of it and wonder why I did what I did, or question if I wasted my time. I have no desire to be known for things that really don’t matter in this life. But if I pursue after things like money, possessions, fame, success, etc… all those things that are so easy to pursue in this life, then I will spend my life pursuing things that won’t last, and when I get to the end of my life I will ask those very questions I don’t want to ask.
What if…WHAT IF…I chose to not focus on myself in this life. What if we chose to not focus on ourselves, but rather on others and on something beyond ourselves?
This summer I spoke at a camp, and the theme of the week was “Selfless”. The key verses used for that theme were Philippians 2:3-4.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Throughout scripture, God tells us to love others, serve others, care for others, and to pursue him and his purpose for our life. I’ve yet to find a verse or passage where God tells us to live for ourselves over others, to focus on being rich or having everything, or to pursue the stuff that this world offers.
I have seen what the pursuit of all that this world has to offer over what God calls us to do looks like, and I wasn’t a fan of what I saw. I also have experienced the desire to have all of those things in my own heart and life, and I have to say that I didn’t like that feeling or the thought of who I would become if I continued to live that way.
I don’t want to be known for having a lot of stuff, for being popular, or for being successful in the things of this world.
I want to be known as someone who loved well, who was a good man and father, who was real and honest, who others could trust, who cared for those in need, who lived for God, and who was faithful no matter the circumstance of life.