“What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Matthew 16:26.
That was the topic, and those are the words that have been on my mind recently.
When I was younger, I was very different. I had trouble answering my hard hitting questions about faith like: How do I know I’m getting to heaven? Or, Is this Really God’s plan? Or I’d ask the most prominent question on my mind at the time: What is my purpose? Or what am I good at? I struggled with the idea that I wasn’t very special, and God hadn’t given me any talents or special skills to take pride in. I would look up to my siblings, secretly wishing I could have their talents. Drawing, playing guitar, or writing. Those were naïve things to think, but I was young and had very little knowledge of the Bible, or God’s plan for me, and so those thoughts made sense to me. I believed them. I would follow the same routine of: Wake up, school, play video games, watch TV with the family, go back to bed. I did all of this even though I knew that I wanted to find what I was talented at. I didn’t try new things, I was afraid I would try and fail, so I just stuck with the same routine. The routine had worked for me in the past, so why change? Well the truth was: I was missing out on so much.
Fast forward to 2016 (very recent, I know) and I was still on my search for purpose. I had new hobbies, like Boy Scouts, or playing ultimate Frisbee on Monday’s with some Church friends, or writing a post for my new blog. I had some things to be proud of, I was doing new things, and I was glad that I had some things I was good at and enjoyed doing. I had the ambition to find purpose and talent. But all this time I had left one detail out of my life: God. He was nowhere to be seen in my plans for the week. My Bible lay unread on my desk, I didn’t show up for church, I rarely prayed, but yet I still thought I had finally had it all together. Like my life was picking up and becoming new. It wasn’t. I had this sinking feeling like I was doing something wrong, even though I was doing what I loved. I was a Christian, that I knew. But I wasn’t being consistent with my faith. My new “Talents” were just hobbies, and they were great fun, but they lacked the spiritual satisfaction I got from going to church, or learning something new from the Bible about God. So then I asked myself: If Boy Scouts, Frisbee, and writing aren’t doing much for me in growing my relationship with God, what can I do?
Thankfully the question was answered. I didn’t answer the question though, God did, through my sister. She invited me to a new thing they were doing at my Church: Ignite. It was about learning an instrument, and it was for learning about worship. I had always had an interest in playing piano, but I never played it. So I went to Ignite to see what was in store. Satisfaction, that’s what. I didn’t realize it for the first few weeks of Ignite, but I realized I was really enjoying worship. When I got home from Church I would play on the family keyboard, expanding my talent more. Emphasis on talent. It was a talent that I could use to glorify God, and it was a talent I enjoyed. I went every week I had the chance, and I still go. I was starting to slowly but surely get back into God’s hands, and returning from my slump of wondering what I was doing wrong. I wanted to learn more, I wanted to grow, so I went with my sister to a Life Group. It was a small group discussion every week about the Bible, and we’d discuss different Bible stories and lessons. I had a new ambition. Godly Ambition. Then I was invited to Impact, which was basically church for high school students. I enjoyed the time of worship more because of Ignite, I enjoyed the message and teaching because of Life Group, and I enjoyed just being at Church. Surrounded with fellow Christians who shared the same desire to praise God and learn more about his word. I read devotionals, I prayed more, I started memorizing scripture, and I got back into the groove of loving God daily. I hadn’t found my purpose. Rather, I found God’s purpose for me. But aren’t they the same thing? God created me for the purpose of giving him glory, and that is ultimately what my purpose is.
Psalm 46:10 “Cease striving, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Until next time,
~Aaron, Boy Scout, Writer, Board Game Lover, and Child of God.