Monday, November 16, 2009

Count the Cost

I have this one secret desire - that my life would count for something. I am not one of these people who believes in living an average life. I do not believe that I exist for myself alone. I am not alive as an exclusive island who exists to gain the very best of life. I was not born into this world to go about life as a 'normal' person. There is nothing normal about me, and there is nothing average about my life.

I was born for greatness. I was born to make a difference and to bring about change. God's plans for my life are for pioneering new strategies and processes, for building structures and practices that challenge the normality of everyday life. His plans for my life are to fulfill a higher purpose, one that I can only dream about. In fact, when I begin to imagine what could be in store, my mind literally tangles itself into a knot trying to get itself around the possibilities of what may lie ahead.

I am doing God no favours if I stay small and in the background, out-of-the-way and unobtrusive, not wanting to make a fuss. No one benefits from my anonymity. I am who I am so I can achieve God's plans for my life and the world.

Am I big-noting myself? No. 'Gee, she's got tickets on herself' I hear you saying. Not true. This is the truth - I know that I know that I know that God's plans for me are for good and not for evil, that they give me a hope and a future. Before the earth was set on it's foundations God had chosen me to be holy. Only things He has deemed as holy may enter His presence. Only those who enter His presence can know God.

I want my life to matter. I want my life to count for something. This world tells us that in order to have a lot, I've got to keep a lot. It tells me that to get ahead I've got to be concerned for me, let everyone else worry about themselves. This world says that your influence is measured by how big your house is and how much stuff is in that big house. It also tells me that when people know your name, you've made the big time.

But everything in my being fights against these 'ideals'. Influence is not only measured by material wealth. You cannot put a monetary figure next to the chance to speak hope into someones world. You can't tell me that a new car is worth more than the chance to change a child's life in a poverty-stricken country. I may never meet him, I may never have the honour of shaking his hand and walking down his street, but right now I have the ability to positively affect his life through sponsorship. In a few years time, that shiny red car is going to be full of rust and blowing black smoke out the exhaust. But that child... I have given him the gift of life. How can you compare the size of your house with the size of that opportunity?

If I keep everything I have tightly grasped in my fists, how am I able to reach out? If my hands are busy keeping my possessions in check, they won't be free to lend a helping hand to the lonely widow down the street who needs help moving boxes in her garage. If I hold tightly onto my money, my hands aren't open to give and aren't open to receive. I would be missing the point.

What does it matter if people know my name but I do nothing to help them? What good is my name if I can't reach out to hurting humanity and do something to alleviate their suffering and pain? My name is but a breath if I'm not willing to speak words of life, offer hope and touch the wounds of society. If I ignore humanity and their desperation, I am shunning the message of the Cross.

Joel Houston from Hillsong states, 'If what we're doing within the four walls (of the church) is having no effect on the streets that we travelled down to get there, then maybe we're missing the point.' Maybe we are missing the point.

I was born at this time in history for a reason. At no other time has another 'me' existed. My words, my time, my finances... I have something to give. I'll always have something to give. My God has graced me with gifts and abilities that have a purpose attached. My greatest achievement will be to hear 'Well done, good and faithful servant' at the end of my time here. I must keep going, I must start something, I must reach out and extend hands of grace, mercy and hope.

How am I going to do this? I don't know. I don't have all the answers yet. But I do know that I won't stop praying for God to break my heart for what breaks His. I will beat with the heart of heaven. I'll put shoes on and run with the message of the Cross, the message of hope and redemption and restoration and mercy and grace. I know that I'll never stop chasing after the One who is these things.

I know that my life will count for something.